The Delhi High Court has refused to stay the summons issued to Jolly LLB 2 producers Fox Star Studios India by a trial court. In addition to executive producer Naren Kumar and other top officials, the court had also summoned lead actors Annu Kapoor and Akshay Kumar and director Subhash Kapoor to appear in court on 22 February.
This is with regard to a defamation case filed by Bata footwear, which accuses the filmmakers and actors of commercial disparagement over a dialogue in the film’s trailer.
Justice Mukta Gupta, who refused to stay the lower court’s summons, also issued a notice to the Delhi Police and sought its response by 30 March.
Bata took offence with one of the courtroom scenes in the trailer, in which Annu’s character tells Akshay, “Kya tum Bata ke joote pehenkar aur terrycot ka shirt pehenkar humse zabaan lada rahe hai?” (Are you going to argue with me while wearing Bata shoes and a terrycot shirt?). According to the notice filed by Bata, the dialogue was intended to convey that Bata footwear is worn only by the lower strata of the society and one should feel humiliated if one wears Bata shoes. Bata also claims that the image of the brand was tarnished at the instigation of a rival brand. Incidentally, Akshay Kumar is the brand ambassador for Sparx Footwear since 2012.
Thus far, the trial court has found adequate ground to proceed against everyone accused in the case under Sections 500 (defamation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code.
This is the second case the film’s team has found themselves in, after a Nanded-based advocate filed a petition with the Bombay High Court demanding that the word ‘LLB’ be dropped from the title.
Initially, the CBFC had issued a U/A certificate to the film. However, a court-appointed three-member panel concluded that the film “showed lawyers in poor light” and demanded cuts in the film two days before its release.
Meanwhile, Vijay Singh from Fox Star Studios confirmed that Jolly LLB 3 is in the pipeline. Cast details haven’t yet been announced.
Feature Image: YouTube