‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil girl’ case: Delhi HC asks real life Gunjan Saxena to submit her assessment of movie

The order has come in a plea moved by the Centre challenging the movie, claiming that the said movie has wrongfully depicted the Indian Air Force in bad light

‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil girl’ case: Delhi HC asks real life Gunjan Saxena to submit her assessment of movie

NH Web Desk

Delhi High Court has asked real life Gunjan Saxena to submit an affidavit stating her assessment of the content shown in the Netflix movie ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’, legal news website LiveLaw.in has reported.

The Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher has further asked the said retired Air Force officer to state as to whether the producers of the film violated the terms of any agreement they had entered into with her.

The order has come in a plea moved by Central Government challenging the ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ movie, by claiming that the said movie has wrongfully depicted the Indian Air Force in bad light.

On Friday, appearing for retired officer Gunjan Saxena, Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan informed the court that the disclaimers shown in the film clearly state that the movie is merely inspired by Gunjan Saxena's story and is not her official biopic.

“Gunjan Saxena personally felt that the movie glorifies the Indian Air Force,” Krishnan submitted.

While taking that submission into consideration, the court asked Krishnan to submit an affidavit stating Saxena's take on the depiction of the Air Force in the said movie.

The court also granted a week's time to the Central Government to submit a rejoinder to the reply filed by Dharma Productions, the producers of the film.

Filed by Union of India and the Indian Air Force against the producers of the movie, the plea sought court's direction to restrain the producers of the movie and any OTT platform to showcase it either privately or in public domain.

The Central Government also demanded the withdrawal of the film from all social media platforms, electronic modes, and even from the publicity campaigns.

It is argued by the Petitioners that under the Air Force Act and the Air Force Rules, makers of any movie, serial or commercial wishing to depict the Indian Air Force or requiring assistance of the armed forces have to take the prior approval of the Ministry of Defence.

The requirement of prior approval is also stipulated in the 2013 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Defence, which requires a preview of the film to be produced before a 'Preview Committee' set up under the said guidelines.

It is argued by the Petitioners that while offering to consider the said proposal for offering requisite assistance from the armed forces, the Ministry was under a bonafide belief and impression that the intentions of the Defendants was to make a film whereby the Indian Air Force would be showcased with due authenticity and integrity, which encourage the youth of the nation to join the Armed Forces and serve the nation.

While claiming that the Defendants unilaterally changed the name of the movie to 'Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl' from just the 'Kargil Girl' without the approval of the Ministry, it was argued that:

“A historical film made on the Indian Armed Forces based on the life story of a war hero has to be based on the true incidents/instances and the audience watching such a biopic film assumes that the incidents/events shown therein are actual and true event. Such a movie cannot be fictionalized or dramatized to such an extent as in the present movie wherein an entirely different perspective is created based on false and misleading facts/events which leaves an adverse impression in the minds of the viewers thereby tarnishing the image of the true characters and the organization which is shown in a historical and biopic film.”

The Petitioners further submitted that the Defendants projected their commercial film as a historical biopic and distorted the true and correct facts purely for sensationalizing the same in order to make commercial gains.

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