HC grants interim relief to Mahesh Bhatt in defamation case
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim relief to filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and his brother Mukesh Bhatt in a defamation case filed by them against actor Luviena Lodh. Lodh had recently stated that she is married to Bhatt brothers' alleged nephew Sumit Sabherwal, claiming that the latter "supplied drugs and women" to members of the film fraternity. Here are more details on this.
Through the defamation suit filed by Bhatt brothers, they had sought Rs. 1 crore in damages. The High Court has now restrained Lodh from making or circulating any false statements against Bhatt family. She has been granted a time period of three weeks to file her response to the lawsuit. However, the court did not pass an order on withdrawal of her controversial video.
In a video, Lodh had claimed that she is the "wife of Mahesh Bhatt's nephew." She alleged that Sumit "supplied drugs and women" to various actors and directors. Calling Bhatt "the biggest don of this industry," she added, "If you don't play by his rules, he will make life difficult for you...He has ruined a lot of lives by putting them out of work."
In a statement, Mukesh Bhatt said, "As mentioned in our defamation plaint submitted in the courts today (Monday), Mr. Sumit Sabharwal is only an employee in my production company Vishesh Films for over 20 years." He added that Lodh "consciously and maliciously orchestrated a campaign along with her benefactors to nefariously defame and besmirch the good name and reputation of my brother and myself."
Sumit's lawyers have also denied all the allegations leveled against him. Their statement read, "The claims and contents of the video being circulated by our client's estranged wife Mrs. Luviena Lodh are denied." "Our client expresses his deepest regret that the good name of Mr. Mahesh Bhatt and Mr. Mukesh Bhatt is being sullied solely due to his pending matrimonial dispute with his wife."