High court of Bombay refused to pass the stay order on the Movie ” Mumbai Saga”:
Today, the high court of Bombay refused to stay the release of the upcoming movie “Mumbai Saga”. The bench of Justices AA Sayed and Madhav Jamdar refused ad-interim relief in a plea filed by undertrial prisoner Ravi Bohra and family members of slain underworld gangster Amar Naik including his gangster brother Ashwin Naik. Bohra and Ashwin are undertrials in judicial custody for alleged involvement in offences under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes (MCOC) Act.
The petitioner challenged the release of the film on the ground that the release, publication, and telecast of the film would lead to violation of the right to privacy, fair trial, and liberty of the two petitioners in custody.
They were seeking the directions from the Court to the makers of the film to share copy of the transcript and story of the film with the petitioners and an interim stay on the release of the film or postponement of the release in theatres and on web and social media platforms.Bohra and Ashwin Naik had purportedly received information through newspapers that the film is based on the “true events” of their lives.
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 their Advocate Prashant Pandey sent a legal notice to White Feather Films, T-series Company, Bhushan Kumar and Sangeeta Ahir calling upon them to 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, the petitioners approached the High Court with the present plea filed through advocate Pandey.Pandey argued that the release of the film is contemptuous to the trial process which Bohra and Naik are undergoing.
Pandey further argued that the release of the film will tarnish the image of his wife and the daughter further and make it difficult for them to be accepted by the society for the alleged crimes of Amar Naik which have not even been proved. This is a violation of their right to privacy and liberty under Art 21 of the constitution, it was contended.
The family, Pandey argued, had faced adverse repercussions because of the alleged accusations against her father and they are running from pillar to post for seeking justice.
He also apprised the Court that the daughter’s petition for grant of passport to attend a commercial pilot training program was rejected by the High Court because of the alleged criminal record of her father.
Pandey also submitted that if the film is allowed to be released, then it would portray Amar Naik in a negative light and cause damage to his reputation and consequently cause social stigma against the family members.
Senior Advocate Birendra Saraf appearing for the producers submitted that they never claimed that the story was based on Bohra or Naik’s life. He further argued that the plea failed to point out how the petitioners would be affected by the release of the film. Saraf also brought to the Court’s attention that a similar application was made by the petitioners before the special court dealing with MCOC Act cases which were rejected by that court.
When the bench enquired about the case, Pandey submitted that a certified copy of that order is awaited, but the court had asked him to approach the High Court under Article 226.
When Saraf was asked by the Court if the producers could change their disclaimer and not include “based on true events”, Saraf read out the current disclaimer which would be flashed before the film. He argued that though it stated that it was inspired by true events, it was merely an inspiration. It was not a film based on the life of Amar Naik. Saraf also informed the Court that the film was due for release tomorrow and the disclaimer is out in every copy which will be published/ aired/ broadcast.