The Bombay High Court today dismissed a petition filed by a woman claiming to be the biological daughter of Sanjay Gandhi, seeking a stay on Madhur Bhandarkar’s upcoming film “Indu Sarkar”. A division bench of justices Anoop Mohta and Anuja Prabhudessai said petitioner Priya Paul has not made out any case for the court to interfere and stay release of the movie after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) already granted certificate to the movie. “The filmmaker has submitted a disclaimer that will be shown before the movie saying all characters and incidents of the movie are fictitious and bears no resemblance to any living or dead person. The censor board has also already granted certificate to the movie after initially asking the filmmaker to cut some scenes,” Justice Mohta said.
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The court also noted that no acknowledged descendant of Sanjay Gandhi has raised objection to the film. “There is no dispute that the descendants of Sanjay Gandhi have not opposed the movie. The petitioner’s claim of probable relation with Sanjay Gandhi is itself questionable,” Justice Mohta said. Senior counsel Birendra Saraf, appearing for Bhandarkar, argued that the petitioner has no locus standi (not an affected party) to file such a petition, challenging the release of a movie. “There is no material, no document, no adjudication to show or prove that she (petitioner) is the biological daughter of Sanjay Gandhi. At the most this is a ruse to get this court to prima facie consider her claim that she is his daughter, which she may use it later to prove her lineage,” Saraf argued.
He added that there are several movies made in the past based on the Emergency. “The censor board has already seen and certified the movie. We have booked theatres and distribution rights have been given. To approach the court at the last minute without any locus is not correct and should not be entertained,” Saraf said. The bench, after hearing arguments of all the concerned parties, said it was not inclined to grant any relief and dismissed the petition. In his petition, Paul had claimed that Bhandarkar had said 30 per cent of the film was factual and the remaining fictional. The petition sought the filmmaker to identify which part was factual and delete it.
The censor board has granted a U/A certificate to the film after ordering 12 cuts, which has been complied with.