A petition seeking contempt proceedings against the makers of Deepika Padukone-starrer film ‘Chhapaak’ was Wednesday filed in the Delhi High Court by an advocate who represented acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal on whose life the movie is based.
Advocate Aparna Bhat approached the HC, saying that film director Meghna Gulzar and producer Fox Star Studios did not comply with its order restraining them from screening the film without giving credit to the lawyer for inputs she shared with them.
Justice Prathiba M Singh had on January 11 directed the filmmakers to acknowledge advocate Aparna Bhat in the opening credits by including the line — “Inputs by Ms Aparna Bhat, the lawyer who represented Laxmi Agarwal, are acknowledged”.
“Pass an order awarding punishment for contempt of court against contemnors for ‘willful and blatant disobedience’ of judgement dated January 11 and order dated January 11,” the petition said.
It claimed that “grave and irreparable harm and injury would be occasioned to the petitioner if this court does not grant the relief”.
The bench had on January 11 passed the order on a plea by Fox Star Studio, producer of the movie which was released on January 10, challenging a trial court’s order asking them to acknowledge the contribution of the advocate.
Regarding the theatrical exhibition, the high court had said since the film has already released on January 10, both internationally and in India, to ensure that there was no disruption in the screening, it was directed that the film would not be exhibited in theatres with effect from January 15 without adding the credit to the advocate to the digital copies.
In the theatres where physical copies of the film were to be supplied by the producer, the changes had to be carried out with effect from January 18, it had said.
The film producer’s advocate had said the trial court did not hear them before passing an order and an ad-interim ex-parte injunction was passed which is unusual.
The counsel for Bhat had said she had fought the case for Laxmi pro-bono and was not seeking any publicity and she was approached by Gulzar to get some authenticity in the movie.
He had said that Bhat’s assistance was based on her communication with Gulzar that her contribution would be acknowledged.
Bhat, in her plea before the trial court, had said that despite representing Laxmi in courts for several years and helping in the movie making, she was not given credit in the movie.
She had said the film-makers took her help in the entire process of writing and shooting the movie, but did not give her credit.