The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to stay the release of the upcoming Hindi action crime thriller film Mumbai Saga starring John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi, Bar and Bench reported.
Undertrial prisoner Ravi Bohra and family members of gangster Amar Naik along with his gangster brother Ashwin Naik filed a plea challenging the film’s release, publication, and telecast claiming that the film violates their right to privacy, liberty and fair trial.
Bohra and Ashwin Naik are in judicial custody for their alleged involvement in offences under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes (MCOC) Act.
According to the report, Bohra and Ashwin Naik received information through newspapers that Mumbai Saga is “based on true events” of their lives and also claimed that Amar Naik’s wife and daughter had not given their consent to the makers to depict or publish the petitioners’ life story. Both of them filed a plea seeking directions from the court to share a copy of the film’s transcript and story with them and an ad-interim stay on the release or postponement of the release in theatres or any other social media platforms.
In 2019, the makers of the film including White Feather Films, T-series Company, Bhushan Kumar and Sangeeta Ahir were sent a legal notice. Despite the notice, the makers had released the trailer of the film on February 26, after which they were sent another legal notice to refrain from releasing Mumbai Saga without the petitioners’ or their families’ consent.
After receiving no response from the makers, the petitioners moved the Bombay High Court with their present plea.
Bohra and Ashwin Naik’s lawyer told the court that the trial under the MCOC Act has not yet begun and the film’s release could intervene the trial by tarnishing the image of their families. It would also make it difficult for them in the society since Amar Naik’s alleged crimes which have not been proved yet.
Pointing out that the plea failed to show how Mumbai Saga‘s release would affect the petitioners’ trial, the film’s producers told the court that they “never” claimed that the story was based on Bohra or Naik.
The defendants also argued that a similar application made by the petitioners before the special court dealing with MCOC Act cases earlier had been rejected.
Bohra and Ashwin Naik’s lawyer submitted that a certified copy of that order is still awaited and that the court had asked them to approach the high court under Article 226.
The defendants also read out the current disclaimer which would be shown at the beginning of the film and mentioned that it had not stated “based on true events” but “inspired by true events” arguing it was a mere inspiration and not based on the life of Amar Naik.
Releasing on Friday, Mumbai Saga is directed by Sanjay Gupta featuring Suniel Shetty, Kajal Aggarwal, Rohit Roy, Anjana Sukhani, Mahesh Manjrekar, Prateik Babbar, Samir Soni, Amole Gupte and Gulshan Grover.