Delhi court clears Chhapaak for release, asks makers to credit Laxmi Agarwal’s lawyer

Laxmi Agarwal’s lawyer Aparna Bhat had filed a complaint against Chhapaak makers over credit issues. Deepika Padukone plays the lead role in the film.

Advocate Aparna Bhat, who represented acid attack victim Laxmi Agarwal in court, is upset with Chhapaak, starring Deepika Padukone and directed by Meghna Gulzar. Bhat filed a complaint against the makers of the film at a Delhi court, seeking an interim injunction claiming that she has not been given due credit for her work. The court has now ordered the makers of Chhapaak to give credit to Aparna before the release.

Chhapaak is based on Laxmi’s life, and in the film, Deepika plays a character based on Laxmi. Bhat’s contention is that the filmmakers have not given due acknowledgement to her in the film’s credits. The advocate, who played a pivotal role in real life to ensure justice was served to Laxmi in the case fought at Patiala House Courts, took to Facebook and wrote a few posts to vent her ire.

Bhat wrote in her Facebook post: “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.”

As soon as she put up the post, many people came out in support of Bhat. Overwhelmed by the support, she wrote another post: “I thank all my friends who endorsed my contribution and challenged team Chhapaak in failing to say even “Thank you!!a. 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.”

This is the second controversy that has erupted about Chhapaak within the span of a single day. Earlier on Wednesday, social media and WhatsApp were flooded with the rumour that the name of the real-life acid attacker was changed from Naeem Khan to Rajesh in the film, in order to protect the culprit’s religious identity. However, pre-release screenings on Wednesday revealed that the name of Naeem, the attacker, has been changed to Basheer in Chhapaak.

Wednesday’s controversies over Chhapaak followed Deepika’s visit to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday night. She was at JNU as a mark of solidarity with the students who were victims of a violent attack by unidentified masked men on Sunday night.

Deepika’s JNU visit was construed by many as a publicity stunt, and clamour to boycott her new film has been trending online, although a large section of social media has also hailed her gesture.

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