New Delhi [India], September 2 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to grant an interim order of injunction against the movie "Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl" and asked Dharma Productions Private Limited, Karan Yash Johar, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Netflix and others to file a reply on Centre and Indian Air Force's plea against the movie.
A single-judge bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher also asked the Director of Dharma Productions Private Limited Hiroo Yash Johar, Dharma Productions's CEO Apoorva Mehta, Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP to file a reply on the Central govenrment's plea.
The court also directed to delete the Indian Air Force from the memo of parties and arrayed Gunjan Saxena as a party in the matter and listed it for further hearing on September 18.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Centre, said that the matter concerns the dignity and reputation of the Indian Air Force, which has been maligned and added that IAF has been portrayed in a very poor light by showing that it practices gender bias.
Jain told the court that the movie damages the reputation of the Indian Air Force and said that the motion picture in question has not been shown to the preview committee, no NOC has been taken and no MOU has been signed which is a general practice.
The court said that the Centre should have approached the court earlier and refused to grant an injunction observing that the film is already out. It also cited example of the Spycatcher case, where a foreign court granted an injunction against a book, but the book had already been published.
"Do you know what the headline was the next day," the court asked, to which senior advocte Harish Salve appearing for Dharma Productions replied, "You Old Fools".
The Central government, in a plea filed through standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, sought to restrain from broadcasting, telecasting, releasing in theaters or any other digital, over-the-top (OTT) platform of the movie.
It sought to remove or withdraw the film 'Gunjan Saxena - The Kargil Girl' or any part or scene thereof from all OTT platforms including those of Netflix, without the grant of no-objection certificate from the plaintiff.
"The Indian Air Force believes in gender equality and has always ensured a healthy working environment for all its officials, uninfluenced by their gender, caste, region, religion, etc. The IAF has always provided equal opportunities to the meritorious officers irrespective of their gender, caste, region, religion, etc," the plea said.
"Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena and Flight Lieutenant Sreevidya Rajan were among the first women to fly in a combat zone during Kargil War. In 2012, Flight Lieutenant Nivedita Choudhary became the first woman from the Indian Air Force to summit the Mount Everest. In 2015, the Indian Air Force opened new combat air force roles for women as fighter pilots adding to their role as helicopter pilots in the Indian Air Force," it added.
The plea said that as of today, the IAF has 1625 female officers, excluding medical and dental branches, out of which nine are fighter jet pilots, 50 are helicopter pilots, and 51 are transport pilots. (ANI)