Delhi High Court lifts stay, ‘Gulaab Gang’ releases today

The makers of much awaited film, ‘Gulaab Gang’ heaved a sigh of relief as court lifts the stay order of the film. A division bench of acting chief justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul provided the relief to the makers of ‘Gulaab Gang’ starring Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla in the lead role by lifting the stay order claiming that the film is not based on the social activist group headed by Sampal Pal.

The film ran into trouble when ahead of the film release Sampal Pal filed defamation suit against the film makers for showing them in the bad light and making the film without their prior permission. But the division bench questioned Pal's claims. "When did you come to know that the film is based on your life? Why you came so late?" the bench demanded. It refused to continue the stay, saying Pal can "always claim damages later".

Replying to division bench claim, Pal's counsel said that there is not any delay in the move as Sampal Pal acted against the makers only after he refused to reply to the legal notice. He further said actresses Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla "are on record" accepted that the film is based on Pal and her 'Gulabi Gang'. Dressed in pink, Pal also sought financial compensation, saying there are certain scenes in movie which showed them in the bad light.

On 5th March, Court put nine weeks stay order on the release of ‘Gulab Gang’ slated to release this Friday. Delhi High court has put a stay order on the film’s release following a plea made by activist Sampat Pal. She claims the film is based on her group Gulabi Gang, comprising women vigilantes in UP wearing pink sarees.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva refrain the film's producers, Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd, and their agents from "releasing, exhibiting, distributing and promoting" the film in India and worldwide  till the next date of hearing on May 8, saying "irreparable damage and injury" would be caused to Pal if it is released.

He claimed that if the film is released in India this Friday then the producers will suffer huge financial loss which would be unimaginable and due to the copyright act the producer will also suffer loss of reputation along with financial loss.

Justice Sachdeva stated that "reputation once lost will not come back".

"Should we permit someone to be defamed? How do you compensate for loss of reputation?" the bench asked the producers and added "if the defendants (producers) at their own risk make a film depicting a person in a negative light, they will have to take responsibility for the same".

Sampal Pal claimed that the film ‘Gulab Gang’ based on her group is made without her prior permission and the content of the film is against her persona. She further added that the defamatory content which would affect her reputation.

Dressed in pink, Pal said that the film promo showing the protagonist as anti-social element, wielding swords and sickles is totally contrary to her real life persona.

Her group is actively involved in fighting social injustices meted to the women. 'Gulabi Gang' was formed in 2006 by Pal in UP's Banda district.