Delhi HC stays release of Bollywood movie Gulaab Gang

(The release of the movie has now been permitted with a disclaimer that the movie is not based on Ms. Sampat Pal and her work. The stay order by the Single Judge of the Delhi High Court has been vacated by the Division Bench of acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul. We thank our commentator for bringing this to our attention.)

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Today, the Hindu carried an article that reported the stay issued by the Delhi HC on the nationwide release of the upcoming Hindi movie ‘Gulaab Gang‘ starring Bollywood stars Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla. The temporary injunction was granted pursuant to a suit filed by activist Sampat Pal, who argued that the movie was inspired by her group, Gulabi Gang that is actively involved in fighting social injustices against women, sometimes using unconventional means as well. Ms. Pal has made two arguments, first, that the producers have used her copyright over Gulaabi Gang without her permission and secondly, that the movie contains defamatory content that would adversely affect his reputation. According to the article, the injunction was granted against the producers, Sahara One Media Entertainment Ltd. from ‘releasing, distributing, exhibiting and promoting’ the movie till the next hearing as ‘irreparable damage or injury’ would be caused to Ms. Pal in the form of monetary loss for use of her copyright without her permission as well as loss of reputation which cannot be compensated if the movie does contain defamatory content as opposed to the producers who would suffer only monetary loss due to non-release of the film. The next hearing is scheduled on May 8.

L. Gopika Murthy

Gopika is a fourth year student at National Law School of India University, Bangalore. She was formerly the Chief Editor of the Indian Journal of Law and Technology. Her first exposure to Intellectual property law and SpicyIP was through the University Moot Rounds at NLSIU, Bangalore in her first year. She has been regularly following the developments in the field of IPR since then and she hopes to contribute to the reporting of such developments. Her areas of interest in IP include copyrights, open access, fair dealing and trademarks.

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