‘Sampat Pal’s copyright over Gulabi Gang used without her permission’

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed the screening of Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla starrer Gulaab Gang on a suit filed by women rights activist and Gulabi Gang head Sampat Pal. The film was scheduled to release across the country on Friday.

Allowing Ms. Pal’s plea for stay on the release of the film, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said the plaintiff would suffer irreparable damage, not only financially but also to her reputation.

The court noted in its order that while loss to the film producer would be monetary, the plaintiff would suffer financially as her copyright over Gulabi Gang had been used without her permission.

The court asked Sahara One Media and Entertainment Limited, the producer of the film, and their agents not to release, exhibit, distribute and promote the film till the next date of hearing on May 8.

Wearing a pink sari, Ms. Pal was present in the courtroom when the matter was taken up for hearing.

‘Defamatory content’

Through her counsel Kush Sharma, she submitted that her permission was not taken for making the film, whose script was based on her life and the activities of her organisation. She further submitted that the film contained some defamatory content. She sought a permanent injunction against the release of the film and damages.

Ms. Pal is a former government health worker, social activist and crusader belonging to the Banda district of Uttar Pradesh, the suit added.

The women’s group is known as Gulabi Gang because the members wear bright pink saris and wield bamboo sticks. They are not a gang in the usual sense of the term. The motto of the organisation is the uplift of rural women, the suit claimed. “Gulabi Gang acts as a trademark, trade name and a trade dress uniquely depicting the social message that they seek to disseminate and propagate,” the suit said.