The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the counsels representing the Indian Air Force and the makers of the film – ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl ‘to sit together and hold a conference in order to make an attempt for sorting out the issues related to the content shared in the film.
A single-judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked the counsel for both the parties to sit together and sort out the issue by exchanging the views.
The court, however, refused to pass any interim order over the plea filed by the Central government seeking to restrain release of Bollywood movie ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ in theatres and said that those who wanted to watch the movie, might already have seen it on the OTT platform.
"Who will go and watch the film in theatres during the Covid-19 pandemic and the ones who wanted to, have already seen it on OTT platform," the judge said.
While the matter was being heard through video conferencing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain appearing for the Centre said, "When Dharma Productions had a contract with Gunjan Saxena, could it show IAF in a bad light? Because it was Saxena who was employed with IAF and not vica versa."
Responding to the submissions, senior advocate Harish Salve said that the larger message of the film was gender equality.
"They can't show such scenes under artistic independence. It's a fact that Gunjan Saxena was an IAF officer who participated in the Kargil war. The Disclaimer shown in the film fails to dispel the distorted picture of the Air Force," the ASG said.
Following these submissions, the bench said that the film isn't a factual account of what happened in Saxena's life, else they wouldn't have shown her as the first female officer of the Air Force. "In an inspirational work of art, certain parts are shown in a way that do no perfectly align with what actually transpired in the reality," said Justice Shakdher.
The petition filed by the Ministry of Defence sought permanent injunction to restrain the defendants from broadcasting, telecasting, releasing in theatres and/or any other digital/OTT platform or in any platform in any manner whatsoever, the film 'Gunjan Saxena...The Kargil Girl' in public domain, privately or otherwise, by any means whatsoever, without the grant of NOC from the Plaintiff (IAF).
The court will now hear the matter next in January next year.