Mumbai: Clearing the decks for the release of ‘Indu Sarkar’, the Bombay High Court on Monday junked a petition filed by a woman, claiming to be the “probable biological daughter” of late Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi. The HC said that unless her “lineage” to Sanjay is not proven, her oral claims cannot bar the film’s release.
The Division Bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai heard a writ petition filed by Priya Paul, who has claimed to be the biological daughter of Sanjay, the son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She had approached the Bench through her advocate Tanvir Nizam, seeking a stay on the release of Indu Sarkar – the film based on ‘Emergency’ that was imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975.
According to Paul, the film has 30 per cent ‘fabricated’ facts (regarding the emergency era) that shows her alleged father in a “poor light”. She has also alleged that the film has lowered the repute of Indira Gandhi — the icon of India.
On the other hand, Bhandarkar’s counsel Birendra Saraf apprised the judges that the film got certified only after it adhered to the cuts and changes that were suggested by the Censor Board. He also informed the judges that the film maker has booked 800 theatres across the country and has made all the necessary preparations to release it globally.
After hearing the submissions, Justice Mohta said, “Emergency is a matter of fact and everyone knows as to what had happened. We are surprised that none of the relatives of Sanjay or Indira Gandhi have opposed this film. We fail to understand why should we go by the say of an individual whose relationship itself is in a doubt.”
The judges even refused to accept Paul’s contention that she resembles Indira Gandhi. Justice Mohta said, “We do not want to make any comment on this contention but suffice it would be to say that this submission cannot be accepted. The petitioner (Paul) has failed to prove her locus in challenging the film’s release, thus we are of the opinion that this plea cannot be entertained.”
Protest against film: Congress activists in Mulund burnt an effigy of Madhur Bhandarkar and posters of his film Indu Sarkar while protesting the negative portrayal of Congress icons — Indira & Sanjay Gandhi — along with veteran Congress leaders in the film. — Staff Reporter