In connection with a criminal defamation complaint, a Mumbai metropolitan court has given summons to the producers of the film “Gangubai Kathiawadi” as well as actor Alia Bhatt. The summons was given by Metropolitan Magistrate Mazgaon last week, but the comprehensive order was only made public on Wednesday.
Bhansali Productions is producing the film, which is based on a novel by S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhansali Creations, the writers, and Ms. Bhatt were served with the summons.
Babuji Shah, through his lawyer Narendra Dubey, filed a defamation suit. Mr. Shah, Gangubai Kathiawadi’s adopted son, said that chapters in the novel about his mother were defamatory, tarnished her image, and violated her right to privacy and self-respect. Mr. Shah said in his complaint that Kathiawadi was a social worker who worked for sex workers’ rights and lived a dignified life.
“Even though it is considered that she was a prostitute,” the court said after hearing the arguments, “it does not suggest that anyone has permission or write to expose or discuss her as a prostitute in public.”
Mr. Shah’s permission was not obtained prior to the publication of the novel or the release of the promotional trailer, according to the statement.
“To depict the deceased Gangubai’s image without the permission of her family members amounts to defaming her image,” it continued. The court issued procedure returnable on May 25, 2021, after determining that there are appropriate grounds to proceed against the accused.