Delete Alleged Defamatory Scenes Against IAF in Netflix's Gunjan Saxena: Delhi HC Directs Union
Updated: Aug 29, 2020
News Article Covered By Niloy Ghosh
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in Delhi High Court against the movie, Gunjan Saxena-The Kargil Girl, seeking direction to modify or delete the dialogues and scenes from it that portray a negative image of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The recent uproar and criticism over the newly released Netflix film titled, Gunjan Saxena: Various reasons have backed the Kargil Girl. Following the film’s OTT release, the IAF wrote a letter to the Censor Board calling out its undue negative portrayal of Air Force’s work culture, forwarding it to Netflix and Dharma Productions as well.
The said PIL was filed on behalf of Satyam Singh Rajput, President Justice For Rights Foundation, Deeksha Singh, Gaurav Yadav, and Sanjeev Singh, through Advocates Amit Kumar Sharma, Nagendra Benipal, Arti Singh and Jasmeet Ajimal. The plea stated that some scenes and dialogues in the movie are factually incorrect, misleading and portray an inappropriate work-culture to glorify the screen character of the former Flight Lieutenant, Gunjan Saxena, among many other concerns.
The matter was heard by the division bench consisting of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan who dismissed the plea by laying down several arguments, one of them being, “Why [is there] this kind of sensitivity to a movie or a book? Are our institutions so weak?” The judges also questioned the legal basis for claiming that IAF has to be shown in a good light and not otherwise.
Additionally, the petitioner had claimed that the IAF and some of its officers had been shown as gender-biased. In their plea, they had stated that as per the initial understanding, Dharma Production, which produced the film, had promised to represent the IAF authentically and to make all efforts to ensure that the film helps inspire the next generation of IAF officers. To this argument, the bench said that if the IAF was aggrieved by it, let it take action. The court further held that since the IAF is very well alive, it should take action against the film.
The court further directed the Centre; the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, in particular, to decide the representation following the law, rules, regulations and government policies applicable to the case.