Alia Bhatt and Sanjay Leela Bhansali can finally breathe a sigh of relief. A Mumbai City Civil Court on Wednesday dismissed a suit seeking a permanent injunction against Bhansali Productions, Alia and Mafia Queens of Mumbai author Hussain Zaidi, on whose book the film Gangubai Kathiawadi is based. The suit was filed by Babuji Shah, who claims to be late Gangubai's adopted son.
Shah, in his suit filed through Advocate Narendra Dubey, claimed that a chapter on Gangubai in Mafia Queens of Mumbai was defamatory, tarnished her reputation and infringed upon the right to privacy and self-respect of his deceased mother. Later, he sought a restraining order against publishing and circulation of the book. Not just this, he also sought a permanent injunction against the writers and the filmmakers from producing, directing or airing the promo of any film based on Mafia Queens of Mumbai.
The suit also stated that the author didn't seek permission or consent from Shah before writing the novel or making the film. The plaintiff claims to be the legal heir of Gangubai. He further stated that the makers of the film Gangubai Kathiawadi didn't obtain any information on Gangubai from him or other family members.
Director Sanjay filed a notice of motion on behalf of Bhansali Productions and Alia and sought rejection of the plaint on the grounds that the "suit is barred by limitation since the novel was published in the year 2011 and the suit was filed only in December 2020." The filmmaker further stated that Shah "didn't submit any proof to substantiate his claim that he is the adopted son of Kathiawadi nor show any evidence as to how the legal requirements of adoption were not complied with." He further stated "Shah does not have any locus standi to file the present suit and there is no cause of action." Bhansali told the court that Alia "who is added as a defendant in the suit, is only an artist and has no role in the production of the movie."
Alia and Bhansali were represented by Advocate Pradeep Gandhy, who was briefed by a team from DSK Legal comprising Managing Partner Anand Desai, Partner Chandrima Mitra, Associate Partner Parag Khandhar and Principal Associate Prachi Garg.
(Source: Bar & Bench)