The Bombay high court on Wednesday denied interim relief to former media baron Peter Mukerjea, an accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, and rejected his petition for permission to watch the preview of Dark Chocolate, a Bengali film reportedly based on the case.
In a plea filed on his behalf, Mukerjea’s sister, Shangom Dasgupta, had sought a stay on the film’s release — stating that it defamed the accused and his family. The media baron also told the high court through his counsel that the movie would have an impact on the trial proceedings if released for public viewing.
The bench headed by justice SC Dharmadhikari, however, questioned Mukerjea’s arguments on the possibility of the trial getting “prejudiced”. The court said he will have to convince the court about this through legally valid arguments.
“Don’t make any requests for a preview. The court can’t grant you that without any valid ground. There are countless campaigns related to the case that are being published and broadcasted by the media. All details of the case and the trial are being discussed in the public domain. But if those don’t affect your right to free trial, how can this regional movie suddenly affect the same?” justice Dharmadhikari asked.
The filmmakers had submitted in a previous hearing that though the plot and characters of the film were “inspired” by the Sheena Bora case, the film wasn’t defamatory to any party. They argued that they had only used the information mentioned in the “chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is already in the public domain”.
Arguments pertaining to the demand for a stay on the film’s release have been scheduled by the court for April 7.