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Faraaz: Delhi HC asks Hansal Mehta, Bhushan Kumar to be present in court on October 28

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The Delhi High Court today has issued notice in a suit filed by families of two victims, Tarishi Jain and Abinta Kabir, died in the 2016 Dhaka terrorist attack, against the release of the film Faraaz based on the 7/16 Bangladesh Attack. 

Today, the matter was listed before the single-judge bench of Justice Asha Menon. Ruba Ahmed (Plaintiff No. 1) and Tulika Jain (Plaintiff No. 2), through their counsels Upender Thakur and Yatin Grover, Advocates, approached the Court objecting to the film Faraaz, which revolves around the terrorist attack and a third victim, Faraaz Hossain.

The director, Hansal Mehta, is the first defendant and the co-producers – Bhushan Kumar Dua (Chairman, T-Series), Anubhav Sinha, and Mahana Films are the remaining defendants in the suit.

In the 2016 Dhaka attack, the plaintiffs lost their daughters Abinta Kabir and Tarishi Jain along with their best friend Faraaz. On July 1, 2016, all three were having dinner at the Holey Artisan Café in Dhaka when the terrorist attack took place, wherein all three died along with several other victims.  

During the arguments today, the Court was apprised of the attack, about the children and why the present case has been filed. The court was shown the interviews given by the movie makers and also the legal notices sent on behalf the plaintiffs. It was apprised that in interviews, the defendants are openly stating that the movie is based on the true events whereas in reply to the legal notice (sent on behalf of the plaintiffs), they have stated that the movie is fictional.

During the argument, the Court was also shown the replies given by the defendant which were vague in nature and give rise to apprehension that the defendants are using different entities to somehow make the movie despite strong objections taken by the plaintiffs. Similar action was taken by the plaintiffs in 2020 was also shown, however, after the legal notices, the plan to make a movie on the attack was shelved by those production houses.

The lawyers, Upender Thakur and Yatin Grover, stated that by making the movie on the plaintiffs’ daughters without taking their consent, the defendants are violating the plaintiffs’ Right to Privacy and Right to be Forgotten. If the defendants include any content which is false, derogatory or defamatory in nature towards the daughters of the plaintiffs, the defendants shall also be liable to defamation and for that purpose they have also sought a pre-screening of the movie before its release and if any portion is found to be in violation, they have prayed for its immediate injunction and damages. It was further stated that since some arrests pertaining to the said attack took place in India, the right to fair trial will also be compromised in case this movie is allowed to be released.

After hearing the arguments, the Court issued short notice to the defendants and directed them to appear before the court on October 28. Senior Advocate Jayant Kumar Mehta argued on behalf of Plaintiff 1 and Upender Thakur, Advocate argued the matter on behalf of Plaintiff 2.

They had previously served legal notices on filmmaker Hansal Mehta asking him not to release the film.

Case Name- Ms Ruba Ahmed & Ors Vs Mr Hansal Mehta & Ors. 

CS(OS) No. 498 of 2021

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