Bombay HC refuses stay on Mumbai Saga, the film will release on 19th March
Bombay High Court has refused to grant any relief to gangster DK Rao, alias Ravi Bohra, and the family members of underworld don Amar Naik and his brother Ashwin Naik.
Bombay High Court has refused to grant any relief to gangster DK Rao, alias Ravi Bohra, and the family members of underworld don Amar Naik and his brother Ashwin Naik. They had approached the court seeking a stay on the release of the film Mumbai Saga, starring John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi in lead roles. Directed by Sanjay Gupta, the film is scheduled to release on March 19.
During the hearing on Thursday, March 18, the court asked the petitioners, "why have you come at the last minute?" The court added that the Naik family was aware that the film was being made as they had sent notices to the makers in 2019.
Advocate Prashant Pandey, who was representing the petitioners, pointed out that the makers have said that "the film is inspired by true events". Pandey also pointed out that in an interview, an actor is saying that he is playing Amar Naik. Pointing out other similarities in the film, Pandey said, "Amar Naik was shot by police officer late Vijay Salaskar. In the film, the character played by Emraan Hashmi has been named Vijay Salaskar."
Pandey elaborated, "Portraying characters like these affects the life of people associated with them. The daughter of Amar Naik had to come to the court to get her passport. She was denied the same. because her father was Amar Naik, despite the fact that she is a pilot."
Advocate Biren Saraf, who was appearing for the makers of Mumbai Saga, said, "I am not responsible for that." While Pandey added, "Public image is created by such films as they are using the story and names to make commercial gains."
Prashant Pandey questioned the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for issuing certificate to the film and said that the board should not have issued the certificate looking into these issues. To which, the division bench of Justice AA Sayed and Justice MJ Jamdar asked, "Are people, who go to watch the film, supposed to know that it is against a certain people and so certificate should not be granted?"
Biren Saraf further argued, "In the petition, there is nothing else to show how this movie is based on Amar Naik's life." The lawyer pointed out, "There is no obligation to view if there is no case made out. The makers have not shown any similarity," when Pandey pressed for the trailer to be viewed to show the similarity.
Ravi Bohra and the family of gangster Amar Naik say that Mumbai Saga is being released without the consent of the family members. Bohra and Ashwin are under trials in judicial custody for alleged involvement in offences under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act.
The plea challenged the release of the film on the ground that the release, publication and telecast of Mumbai Saga would lead to violation of right to privacy, fair trial and liberty of the two petitioners in custody. It also sought directions from the court to the makers of the film to share copy of the transcript and story of the film with the petitioners. They had also sought an interim stay on the release of the film or postponement of the release in theatres or even on online and social media platforms.
According to the petitioners, Ravi Bohra and Ashwin Naik received information about the future release of a film based on the “true events” of their lives through newspapers. Even the wife and daughter of Amar Naik were shocked to read the article as they had never given consent to the makers to depict or publish the life story of the gangster.
On their behalf, Advocate Prashant Pandey had sent a legal notice to White Feather Films, T-series, Bhushan Kumar and Sangeeta Ahir, desist from releasing the film. Despite the notice, when the trailer was released on February 26, 2021, they sent another legal notice to the makers to stop the release of the film without their consent. When they received no response and were aggrieved by the illegal manner of the release of the film, the petitioners approached the High Court with the present plea filed through Advocate Prashant Pandey.
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