Gave credit to lawyer in Indian release of Chhapaak: Fox Star to Delhi HC

NEW DELHI: The makers of Deepika Padukone-starrer 'Chhapaak', based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal, told the Delhi High Court on Monday that the victim's lawyer was given credit in the film screened in Indian theatres. However, the lawyer was not given credit in the international releases of the movie as the filmmakers thought it had to be done here only. The submission was made before Justice Najmi Waziri on behalf of the film's director Meghna Gulzar and producer Fox Star Studios against whom contempt proceedings have been moved for violation of the court's direction to give credit to Aggarwal's advocate -- Aparna Bhat -- in the movie which released on January 10. The lawyers appearing for Gulzar and Fox Star told the court they will take instructions on a possible solution and the court, thereafter, listed the matter for hearing on January 29.

The court said if filmmakers have misconstrued its January 11 order, to give credit to Bhat for inputs she shared with them, it will be looked into and if required, they will have to make amends.

Justice Prathiba M Singh had on January 11 directed the film's director and producer to acknowledge the advocate in the opening credits by including the line "Inputs by Ms Aparna Bhat, the lawyer who represented Laxmi Agarwal, are acknowledged".

The lawyer has contended that the film was screened without complying with the direction and therefore, contempt of court proceedings be initiated against the filmmakers.

The January 11 order had come on a plea by Fox Star Studios challenging a trial court's order asking it to acknowledge the contribution of the advocate.

Since the movie had been released, the high court had directed that the film will not be shown in theatres with effect from January 15 without adding the credit line for advocate to digital copies.

In theatres where physical copies of the film were to be supplied by the producer, the changes had to be carried out with effect from January 18, it had said.

The film producer's advocate had said the trial court did not hear them before passing an order and an ad-interim ex-parte injunction was passed which is unusual.

The counsel for Bhat had said she had fought the case for Laxmi Agarwal pro-bono and was not seeking any publicity and she was approached by Gulzar to get some authenticity in the movie.

He had said that Bhat's assistance was based on her communication with Gulzar that her contribution would be acknowledged.

Bhat, in her plea before the trial court, had said that despite representing Laxmi in courts for several years and helping in the making of the film, she was not given credit in the movie.

She had said the filmmakers took her help in the entire process of writing and shooting the movie, but did not give her credit.

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