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Bombay High Court refuses to stay the release of Gangubai Kathiawadi


In a major relief for the makers of the film Gangubai Kathiawadi, the Bombay High Court has refused to stay the release of the film. The court has also granted an interim stay on criminal defamation proceedings against the makers and actor Alia Bhatt, who portrays the central character in the movie.

Notably, the adopted son of Gangubai, Babu Ravji Shah, had filed pleas against the makers and writer of the book ‘Mafia Queens of Mumbai’, from which the film is inspired. Babu Ravji Shah has claimed that the book and the film are derogatory to the reputation of his mother.

Initially, Shah had approached the sessions court with a defamation plea that was turned down in February this year. Against it, he moved the high court seeking a stay on the release of the film as an interim measure. The makers, however, opposed the appeal challenging its maintainability and pointing out that the sessions court had rightly rejected the defamation suit.

What the court said

Justice Nitin Sambre observed that the law on the principle of Torts that ‘an action dies with the person, in defamation proceedings’ is required to be appreciated. “The contents of defamatory nature against the so-called adoptive mother of the appellant dies with her death,” Justice Sambre stated. The court also observed that Shah has failed to show how he is the adoptive son of Kathiawadi.

The court held that “In a case of a claim for defamation, action can be brought by a person in Court of law provided he claims to be defamed. Merely because the appellant (Shah) is claiming to be the son of such a person cannot be prima facie inferred to have the legal right to show indulgence.”

Gangubai Kathiawadi

Gangubai Kathiawadi is a biographical crime drama film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and produced by Jayantilal Gada and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film stars Alia Bhatt, along with Vijay Raaz, Indira Tiwari and Seema Pahwa playing Pivotal roles, while Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi featured in an extended cameo appearance.

The narrative walks through the life of young Ganga who in no time marks her own territory and becomes Gangubai – a madame in the red light area of Kamathipura. The film is loosely based on a true story, on the book Mafia Queens of Mumbai written by S Hussain Zaidi. The film depicts the rise of a simple girl from Kathiawad who had no choice but to embrace the ways of destiny and swing it in her favour.  


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