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Bombay HC dismisses plea for stay on Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Indu Sarkar’

‘The petitioner's claim of probable relation with Sanjay Gandhi is itself questionable,’ the court said.

After the censor board cleared Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar with a few cuts, there is more good news for the Emergency-era drama. The Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a woman claiming to be Sanjay Gandhi’s daughter.

Priya Paul had sought a stay on the July 25 release. The tabloid Mumbai Mirror reported that a division bench comprising justices Anoop Mohta and Anuja Prabhudessai ruled that the Central Board of Film Certification had already granted a certificate, and that Paul had not made a case to stay the film’s release.

Bhandarkar’s counsel, Birendra Saraf, argued that Paul did not have grounds for the case. “There is no material, no document, no adjudication to show or prove that she (petitioner) is the biological daughter of Sanjay Gandhi,” she argued. “At the most this is a ruse to get this court to prima facie consider her claim that she is his daughter, which she may use it later to prove her lineage.”

Justice Mohta observed, “There is no dispute that the descendants of Sanjay Gandhi have not opposed the movie. The petitioner’s claim of probable relation with Sanjay Gandhi is itself questionable.”

Paul had filed a case based on Bhandarkar’s claim that the film was “30% factual and 70% fictional”. She wanted the factual content to be identified and deleted from the film.

Earlier, the CBFC had asked for 14 cuts, which included the deletions of several words including Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, Intelligence Bureau, Prime Minister, and newspaper visuals of the names of Atal Behari Vajpayee, Morarji Desai and LK Advani to be excised from the film. The CBFC’s revising committee passed the film with 12 cuts, and gave Indu Sarkar a U/A certificate.

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