Qutubuddin Ansari, the man often referred to as the face of the 2002 Gujarat riots, had sought compensation for defamation claiming his photo was used in a film. But the Gujarat High Court turned down his petition.
Ansari had sought compensation from makers of the Hindi film ‘Rajdhani Express’ for the alleged defamation they caused by using his photograph in the film.
Justice Sandeep Bhatt confirmed the orders passed by a metropolitan court in 2014 and a city session court in 2019 and observed, “It is rightly found by the courts below that the complainant has not produced any evidence before the lower court that the accused have used the photograph of the complainant with the intention of damaging the personal reputation of the complainant.”
After the film’s release in 2013, Ansari sued the filmmakers – director Ashok Kohli and producer Manoj Kejriwal – seeking action against them for defamation, causing communal rift and criminal conspiracy. He claimed his photograph, showing him in tears with his hands folded, was used without his permission, and that it was used to sensationalise the film.
He had taken strong exception to his photo being displayed, in a police station scene of the film, “as a common man in need of help” against whom a policeman, played by Jimmy Shergill, pulls the trigger. He had said the photo was used in bad taste.
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