Gangubai Kathiawadi controversy, explained

Gangubai Kathiawadi's lead Alia Bhatt and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali to present themselves before the Mumbai court on May 21.
Gangubai Kathiawadi controversy, explained
Screengrab from Gangubai Kathiawadi teaser featuring actor Alia Bhatt.YouTube/Pen Movies

Actor Alia Bhatt, who is essaying the role of Gangubai Kothewali in her upcoming film Gangubai Kathiawadi, has been summoned by the court of the additional chief metropolitan magistrate in Mumbai. The court sent a summons in connection with a criminal defamation case filed by Babu Rawji Shah, one of the four children adopted by Gangubai to the actor and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Who is Babu Rawji Shah?

He claims to be one of the four children adopted by Kathiawadi. However, as a reply to an earlier suit filed by Babu, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, represented by advocate Pradeep Gandhy and DSK legal team said that Shah has not submitted any proof to substantiate his claim that he is the adopted son of Kathiawadi. For the earlier suit, it was alleged that Shah does not have any locus standi to file the suit, reported India Today.

Screengrab from Gangubai Kathiawadi teaser featuring actor Alia Bhatt.
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Previous claim

In 2020, Babu had filed a petition in a Mumbai court, seeking a restraining order against the film and its trailers. He claimed that the author did not seek permission or consent before writing the novel - Mafia Queens of Mumbai - launched in 2011. He further claimed that no permission from him or any other family members was obtained for the movie.

The petition was filed after film's poster was released in 2020. Judge RM Sadrani has rejected the complaint filed by him and allowed the notice of motion filed by Bhansali Productions.

Recent claim

Babu claims that the chapter on his adopted mother in Hussain Zaidi’s book, Mafia Queens of Mumbai, is defamatory, tarnishes her reputation and violates his right to privacy and self-respect. After going through his complaint, the Mumbai court has issued summons to the actor Alia Bhatt, and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali. They will have to present themselves before the Mumbai court on May 21.

Screengrab from Gangubai Kathiawadi teaser featuring actor Alia Bhatt.
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'Gangubai Kathiawadi' - the film

The movie stars Alia Bhatt in the lead role. This is the first time that Bhansali is directing Alia. The film is Bhansali's 10th directorial and is scheduled to hit the cinema halls on July 30 this year. According to the reports, the movie also stars Shantanu Maheshwari, Emraan Hashmi, and Huma Qureshi, among others.

Watch the teaser here:

The story revolves around the life of Gangubai Kothewali, the madam of a brothel in Kamathipura, and is based on a chapter of Hussain Zaidi's aforementioned book.

(With Inputs from IANS)

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