Gulab Gang producers move to a larger bench against the stay order.
A day after issuing a stay order on the release of the Juhi Chawla and Madhuri Dixit starrer Gulab Gang, the Delhi High Court agreed to hear the appeal of the film's producers, who have challenged the order.
The film is claimed to be based on the life of activist Sampat Pal, and her organisation Gulabi Gang.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul agreed to hear the plea during the day after it was mentioned before it by senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for the producers, Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd.
The court said it will hear the plea after the producers file a compact disc of the lawsuit and other related documents before it. The court asked for the compact disc as it is a paperless electronic court (e-court).
The producers approached the division bench challenging the order of the single-judge who, on March 5, stayed till May 8 the nationwide release of the film, which was slated to hit theatres on March 7, on the plea of Pal claiming that the film is based on her group Gulabi Gang, comprising women vigilantes in UP wearing pink saris.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva had restrained the film's producers and their agents from "releasing, exhibiting, distributing and promoting" the film in India till the next date of hearing on May 8, saying "irreparable damage and injury" would be caused to Pal if it is released.
The single judge had noted that while the producers might suffer monetary loss, Pal will suffer both financial loss, as her copyright over Gulabi Gang has been used without her permission, as well as loss of reputation "which cannot be calculated in terms of money".
Pal in her plea has claimed that her permission was not sought prior to making of the film and had alleged that it contains defamatory content which would adversely affect her reputation.
She has alleged that as per the film's promos, the lead actress playing her character was shown as an anti-social element, wielding swords and sickles, contrary to her real life persona.
While staying the release of the film -- censored or uncensored, the court had rejected the argument of the producers that Pal should not be granted any relief as she came to the court at the last minute despite knowing about the making of the film since March 2013, saying it found no merit in the contention.
Image: Madhuri Dixit in Gulab Gang