Mumbai: A metropolitan court here has issued summons to the producers of the film ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ as well as actor Alia Bhatt in connection with a criminal defamation complaint.
The summons was issued last week by Metropolitan Magistrate, Mazgaon, but the detailed order was made available on Wednesday. The film is based on a novel by S Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges, and is being being produced by Bhansali Productions.
The summons was issued to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhansali Productions, the authors and Bhatt. A defamation case was filed by Babuji Shah through lawyer Narendra Dubey.
Shah, the adopted son of Gangubai Kathiawadi, said chapters in the novel on his mother were defamatory, tarnished her reputation and infringed upon the right to privacy and self-respect.
Shah, in his complaint, said Kathiawadi was a social worker who fought for the rights of sex workers and lived her life with dignity and respect.
The court, after hearing the submissions, said, “Even if it is considered that she was a prostitute, that does not mean that anybody has permission or write to show or mention her as a prostitute in public.”
It further said no consent was obtained from Shah prior to the publishing of the novel or the release of the promotional trailer.
“To portray the image of deceased Gangubai without consent of family members amount to defaming her image,” it added.
Finding that there are sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused, the court issued a process returnable on May 25, 2021.