The Deepika Padukone-led ‘Chhapaak’, based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, has been stopped by the Delhi High Court from releasing without giving credit to lawyer Aparna Bhat, who represented Agarwal in her legal battle.
Justice Pratibha M Singh on Saturday directed that the restraint will be effective from January 15 for multiplexes and live streaming apps while for other platforms it would be effective from January 17.
When reached for comment, director Meghna Gulzar’s office said the filmmaker reserves comment because the matter is in court.
The film is co-produced by Gulzar, Padukone and Fox Star Studios. Fox Star have approached the High Court against the trial court order directing them to give credit to Bhat’s contributions.
An official statement from Fox Studios is expected to be issued soon.
During the hearing on Friday, the makers told the High Court that Bhat had no legal right, statutory or contractual, to seek acknowledgement for her contribution in the film in the form of consultation, inputs and documents.
Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar appeared for Fox Star Studios while Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi appeared for Gulzar
Opposing the claims made by the counsel for the filmmakers, Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh said that the conduct of the filmmakers amounted to breach of trust and her claim seeking acknowledgement in the film was not only based on promissory estoppel but “something higher”.
Parikh went on to add that Bhat offered her assistance to the making of the film pro bono, pursuant to which substantial changes were made to the film.
A Delhi court had on Thursday directed the makers of ‘Chhapaak’ to give due credit to Bhat for her contribution in the making of the film.
Additional Senior Civil Judge Dr Pankaj Sharma directed Gulzar and the makers of the film to mention the advocate’s name in the credit roll.
“This court is of the considered view that facts are indicative that the pique of the plaintiff for interim injunction is well-founded and it is necessary that her contribution be acknowledged by providing the actual footage and the images,” he said.