In India making films on real-life characters, especially those who are alive, is becoming almost impossible.
Meghna Gulzar and her producers faced their share of legal hassles while trying to make a film Talvar based on the Arushi Talvar murder case.
Now her latest work Chhapaak, based on the life of the acid attack survivor Laxmi Aggarwal, is inundated with controversies and legal issues weeks days and even hours before release.
The latest problem to plague Chhapaak is a legal notice from Laxmi Aggarwal’s lawyer Aparna Bhat who fought a long and hard battle to get justice for her client after the attack.
After seeing the film, Aparna feels she has been sidelined in the film.
In a Facebook entry she wrote, “Have never been the one to demand attention to my work. Deeply disturbed by the turn of events post watching Chhapaak. Compelled to take legal action to protect my identity and preserve my integrity.”
While Meghna Gulzar battles another legal issue, a source very close to her angrily blames the film’s producer Fox Star for the faux pas. “Knowing it is a sensitive story and knowing it is based on a true incident why did the producers hold previews days before release? Everyone knows such real-life stories are vulnerable to attack and bound to become a casualty of last-minute delaying tactics.”
In the latest development a Delhi court had ordered the Chhapaak makers to acknowledge Aparna Bhat’s contribution to the film.
Says the court order, “This court is of the considered view that facts are indicative that the pique of the plaintiff for an interim injunction is well founded and it is necessary that her contribution is acknowledged by providing the actual footage and the images.”
Ms Bhat’s name will now appear in the credits of Chhapaak.