Movies

Delhi HC allows Mehengai song in its original form

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NEW DELHI: Prakash Jha‘s film Chakravyuh will release this Friday with the song on ‘Mehengai‘ (inflation) in its original form following the reversal of a single judge order by a division bench of the Delhi High Court.

The single judge Kailash Gambhir had on 15 October restrained the filmmaker and others from playing the song as he felt the use of the word Bata in the song violated the shoe brand‘s credibility and trademark.

The film Chakravyuh is already showing its song Mehngaai on YouTube and other media. The Bata Company had, when asking the court to stay its screening, broadcast and advertising, demanded removal of its brand name from the song or withdrawal of the entire song from the film.

A bench comprising Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh in an interim order said, "there is nothing defamatory in the word ‘Bata‘ and (its use in the song) is only referential, more symbolic and does not refer to particular activity of a person."

The court held that issues related to freedom of expression are quite complex and posted the matter for November for further hearing.

After winning a legal battle in Kolkata against the use of the word Birla, this is Jha‘s second win against the shoe major.

The Birla family has also demanded removal of the word Birla from the song. Appearing on behalf of Birla, the law firm Khaitan & Co had on 3 October sent a legal notice to the film director saying "The Birlas are deeply hurt, and have strong reservations against the use of their name in such a derogatory manner in the song."

The song written by T M Turaz also names the Ambanis and the Tatas. The film‘s promo, however, carries a disclaimer saying "the names used in the song are symbolic and do not intend to harm or disrespect any brand or individual", which is in conformity with the directions of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the petitioner had contended.

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