Jolly LLB 2 makers and cast summoned on 22 February for defamation case against Bata
Bata had claimed that a contentious dialogue in the film was a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image of the footwear brand by Akshay Kumar and the makers of Jolly LLB 2
It is ironic that a courtroom drama like Jolly LLB 2 is in legal trouble yet again. A magisterial court has summoned Akshay Kumar, Annu Kapoor and the director Subhash Kapoor among others to record their statements in a defamation case against footwear brand Bata.
Bata had sent legal notices to the makers and actors of the film for projecting the brand in bad light. The Times of India now reports that Bata has welcomed the decision of a magisterial court for finding prima facie cases of defamation and criminal conspiracy against the accused and has summoned them on 22 February.
Deccan Chronicle reports that Bata had sent the notice to Fox Star Studios, executive producer Naren Kumar, directors Deepak Jacob, Amit Shah and Subhash Kapoor, actors Annu Kapoor and Akshay Kumar, YouTube, PVR Cinemas and Satyam Cineplexes.
The footwear brand has a contention with the scene shown in the recently released theatrical trailer of the film in which Kapoor's character humiliates Kumar's character by saying that the latter wears Bata shoes. Kumar's character feels humiliated and slaps Kapoor's character as a reaction.
As per the report by Deccan Chronicle, the petition states, "The dialogue is intended to convey that the brand BATA is adorned only by lower strata of society and one should feel humiliated if one wears BATA footwear, in fact the expression and reaction to such a dialogue by Akshay Kumar in the trailer shows that even the person to whom such a statement is hurled took the same extremely negatively and slapped Annu Kapoor in Open Court as if he has been severely abused in the dialogue or he has been hurled with deliberate effort to tarnish the brand image of Bata, “perhaps at the instance of some competitors of [Bata] whose products are promoted by Mr Akshay Kumar as a brand ambassador."
Interestingly, Kumar endorses the footwear brand Relaxo which is a competitor of Bata.
A similar controversy plagued the makers of the 2010 cop drama Dabangg when the healthcare brand Emami sued them for depicting their product Zandu Balm in derogatory light. Arbaaz Khan struck an out of the court settlement with Emami as a result of which his wife and fellow co-producer of the film Malaika Arora Khan became the brand ambassador of the lotion.
Arbaaz went on to bank on this controversy in Dabangg 2 as he invited a host of brands for an auction where the highest bitter will be compensated with a lyrical product placement in an item song picturised on Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan. And then, Fevicol happened.
However, the makers of Jolly LLB 2 should not take a cue from that instance and should issue an apology personally as well as publicly, as demanded by Bata, if they go on to admit to their folly.
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