Court Directs ‘Chhapaak’ Makers to Credit Laxmi Agarwal’s Lawyer

Court Directs ‘Chhapaak’ Makers to Credit Laxmi Agarwal’s Lawyer

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Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Reporter: Vakasha Sachdeva

Delhi’s Patiala House Court has directed the makers of Deepika Padukone-starrer Chhapaak to give lawyer Aparna Bhat credit in the film, reports ANI. Bhat was the legal representative of Laxmi Agarwal, the acid attack survivor on whom the movie is based.

Additional Senior Civil Judge Dr Pankaj Sharma has asked the film's director Meghna Gulzar and the makers of the film to mention the advocate's name in the credit roll. The court also asked the makers to include the line, “Aparna Bhat continues to fight the cases of sexual and physical violence against women,” during the screening of the film. “The said line on screen may be with a rider that the same is with the court order,” IANS reports the judge as saying.

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Responding to the verdict, Bhat said in a statement, “I am sad that I had to go to the court to get something that is so simple. It could have been done by the filmmakers without me asking for it.” “What will happen I don't know because they can challenge the order. I am not sure if they are going to keep quite. They have lots of resources. They can challenge the order. They can afford all kinds of lawyers,” she added.

She told IANS that the producers had promised to acknowledge her when they initially discussed the film with her. “The outline of the film was shared with me. I saw it in writing that they were going to acknowledge me. When they changed it and why they changed it, I don't know and that's not relevant to me,” she said.

Just before its release, Bhat, who represented Laxmi in her criminal trial in the Patiala House Court, filed a plea seeking stay on the film. She had posted a message on Facebook saying that she was ‘deeply disturbed post watching the film’ as the makers haven’t mentioned her name in the film or given her credit.

The advocate wrote in a Facebook post dated 8 January, “Have never been the one to demand attention to my work. Deeply disturbed by the turn of events post watching Chhapaak. Compelled to take legal action to protect my identity and preserve my integrity. I represented Lakshmi in her criminal trial in Patiala House Courts... tomorrow someone will represent me in my cause...Ironies of life.”

In another post, she wrote, “I thank all my friends who endorsed my contribution and challenged team Chhapaak in failing to say even "Thank you!!". I cannot match the powers of these mighty producers of Bollywood but keeping quiet will further endorse injustice. I have decided to take my cause to the next level. Ready to face the consequences.”

The Quint has reached out to the producers of Chhapaak and this copy will be updated as and when a response is received.

Laxmi Agarwal, whose role Deepika is essaying in the film, has been seen promoting the film with the actor at multiple events and was also present at the title track launch. Chhapaak was also in the news after Deepika attended a protest rally at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 7 January to show solidarity with the students who were attacked by an unidentified mob.

Post her appearance at the varsity campus, hashtags like #BoycottDeepikaPadukone and #BoycottChhapaak started trending on Twitter.

Also Read : Despite Flaws, ‘Chhapaak’ Tackles a Powerful Topic With Sincerity

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