July 17, 2024
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Gujarat High Court to Decide Fate of Controversial Film ‘Maharaj’

The Gujarat High Court will soon decide whether to admit or dismiss petitions against Yash Raj Films’ latest production, ‘Maharaj,’ based on the 1862 libel case involving Vaishnavite figure Jadunathji and journalist Karsandas Mulji. The petitioners, members of the Pustimargi sect, allege the film portrays the Vaishnav sect negatively, potentially inciting hatred and violence. Senior lawyer Shalin Mehta, representing Yash Raj Films, argued that if the court finds the film unobjectionable, petitioners should deposit ₹100 crore to cover potential losses.

Justice Sangeeta K Vishen, who is reviewing the film, will determine its compliance with artistic and social standards versus its potential to offend. Petitioners’ counsel Mihir Joshi emphasized the need to evaluate whether the film’s artistic merit outweighs its potentially offensive content, citing concerns under Articles 19(2), 21, and 25 of the Indian Constitution. Meanwhile, Netflix’s lawyer Jan Unwalla defended the film, noting it is based on Saurabh Shah’s 2013 book about the trial, which has been publicly available without controversy.

The court’s decision on whether to continue the injunction or allow the film’s release is anticipated soon. If the court rules in favor of the filmmakers, they plan to seek damages from the petitioners for losses incurred due to the legal dispute.

Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright


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