The Supreme Court has said that a film that carries a message and depicts social circumstances of a group of underprivileged women is not impermissible.
The top court also said mere hurting of sensibility is not defamation, if the person said to be defamed is not lowered in character or credit in the eyes of others.
“A book or a film that illustrates the consequences of a social evil must necessarily show that social evil. A film that carries a message and depicts social circumstances of a group of underprivileged women is not impermissible,” a bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and J K Maheshwari said.
The top court made these observations while dismissing a plea Babuji Rawji Shah, who claimed to be adopted the protagonist, in film 'Gangubai Kathiawadi'. The petitioner sought an injunction against Bhansali Productions from releasing Alia Bhatt-starrer movie for allegedly defaming the family.
The film was based on the book “Mafia Queens of Mumbai”.
In a detailed order released on Friday, the court noted that the movie has already been certified by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
As the petitioner claimed that the film as well as the book, were defamatory in nature, the bench said there are exceptions to defamation and it is not defamation to impute anything which is true, concerning any persons or if the imputation has been made or published for the public good.
“Whether or not it is for the public good is a question of fact, that has to be determined by the court," the bench said.
“Mere hurting of sensibility is not defamation, if the person said to be defamed is not lowered in character or credit in the eyes of others,” the bench added.
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