Alia Bhatt and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Gangubai Kathiawadi has, once again, landed in legal trouble. A criminal defamation case has been filed by Babu Rawji Shah, one of the four children adopted by Gangubai Kathiawadi, against the team of the biopic. Bhatt and Bhansali have been asked to arrive in the court of the additional chief metropolitan magistrate in Mumbai in connection to the case. 

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According to reports in India Today, the film-maker and actor have been summoned to the court on May 25 for their film based on a novel by S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges. The defamation case was filed by Shah through lawyer Narendra Dubey. He said that the chapters in the novel were defamatory, smeared his mother’s reputation and violated her right to privacy and self-respect.

He added that Kathiawadi was a social worker and she fought for the rights of sex workers. She lived her life with dignity and respect and he cannot let Bhansali, Bhatt and the team malign her image. The court, after hearing the submissions, stated, “Even if it is considered that she was a prostitute, that does not mean that anybody has permission or write to show or mention her as a prostitute in public.”

“To portray the image of deceased Gangubai without consent of family members amount to defaming her image,” the court added. Apart from Bhatt and Bhansali, the summons was also issued to Bhansali Productions and the authors of the novel.

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Alia Bhatt will be seen essaying the eponymous role in Gangubai Kathiawadi, which is scheduled to release in theatres on July 30. The cast was shooting in Mumbai when SLB tested positive for Covid-19. After a few weeks of isolation, the film-maker is back on the sets of the film. Gangubai Kathiawadi also stars Ajay Devgn in a pivotal role.