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Gunjan Saxena tells Delhi HC never faced institutional or gender bias in IAF | India News


NEW DELHI: Former air force pilot Gunjan Saxena told the Delhi high court on Thursday she has never suffered any institutional or gender bias in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
In an affidavit filed before a bench of justice Rajiv Shakdher, the woman officer – whose life inspired the movie “Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl” – said IAF is a progressive force and she is grateful to it for giving her challenging assignments, such as participating in the Kargil war.
However, she also pointed out that the movie is not a documentary but a movie inspired by her life where the filmmakers took “creative liberties” in which she had no role.
“The deponent doesn’t claim that everything that is shown in the movie happened with her in real life. However she believes the message sought to be conveyed through the movie is to motivate young women to join IAF,” the affidavit added.
During the hearing additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain, along with Central government standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, submitted that IAF is an integral part of every Indian’s day to day life and the film has distorted the image of the force in the name of cinematic work which cannot be appreciated.
“We do not have quarrel with the artistic work of Dharma Productions vis- a-vis it shows the personal life of former flight lieutenant Gunjan Saxena. Our concern is her interface with IAF, as shown in the movie,” the ASG submitted.
Senior advocates Harish Salve and Rajiv Nayyar cited the disclaimer mentioned in the movie which states that it is inspired by the events based on the life of Gunjan Saxena.
However the senior law officer underlined that a “disclaimer can’t annihilate the visual depiction” adding that the filmmakers have “distorted our image in the name of creative freedom, making the disclaimer an eyewash.”
HC then remarked that perception may vary and refused to pass any interim order to restrain the release of the movie – in theatres. “Who will go and watch a movie in the theatre at the time of Covid-19 pandemic. Those who wanted to see the movie have already watched it on the OTT platform,” the court said. It listed the suit for further hearing on January 18, next year after lawyers for all parties suggested the judge watch the movie so that their arguments can be more clear.
Justice Shakdher also asked ASG Jain to sit with the counsel for other parties including senior advocate Harish Salve for Dharma Productions, senior advocate Rajiv Nayar for director Karan Yash Johar and senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul and try to sort out the issue.
The Centre had said the movie has dented the image of the IAF as it showed that the force is gender biased, which is not correct.
In its suit IAF sought a permanent injunction order against the defendants from broadcasting or releasing in theatres or any other digital platform the film without grant of no-objection certificate (NOC) from it.



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