Delhi HC refuses to stay release of Hansal Mehta's 'Faraaz'
Director Hansal Mehta, who is known for his hard-hitting movies like Shahid and Omerta, is coming back with the film Faraaz, which is said to be based on a real-life terrorist attack. Earlier, the family members of the victims had moved to the court, challenging the release of the movie. On Thursday, the Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the film.
Why does this story matter?
- The film Faraaz takes inspiration from the real-life terrorist attack that ravaged a Dhaka cafe.
- The release of the movie was challenged by two women on the ground that it might depict their deceased daughters in a "bad light" and further, violate the right to privacy.
- They also claimed that the film showed images of their daughters when it was screened in London.
Filmmakers were asked to adhere to a disclaimer
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh made it clear that the makers of the film shall "scrupulously adhere" to a disclaimer that says "the movie is inspired by the attack but the elements contained in it are purely a work of fiction." The court also observed that any pictures relating to the appellants' daughters do not feature in the film.
Applicants' counsel sought to shorten the disclaimer
"You want some editorial control over the film. Sorry, we cannot help you" stated the division bench when the appellants' counsel sought to shorten the disclaimer of the film, which was previously ordered by a single-judge bench. Further, the judges also stated that they were in full agreement with the view of the single-judge bench and added, "We see nothing unfounded with this disclaimer."
What were the arguments before the single-judge bench?
Before the single-judge bench, the appellants argued the "film has been created to show Faraaz as a protagonist, as the movie has been named after Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain." According to them, if such a depiction is made, or glorifies one victim, it shall be completely false as the mothers who met the survivors after the attack were well aware of the series of events.
The characters of two daughters have been fictionalized
Before the single-judge bench, the makers emphasized that they have not used the name of the girls, and argued that the character of the two daughters have been fictionalized. They also argued that the film is a "fictional piece of work inspired by a true incident." They submitted that Faraaz's family has already given a No Objection Certificate on using his name.