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The Delhi High Court yesterday issued summons in a suit seeking to restrain Netflix from airing/streaming the episodes of webseries ‘Hasmukh’ for making disparaging statements against lawyers. (Ashutosh Dubey vs Netflix & Ors)
The injunction is specifically sought against episode 4 of Season 1, titled “Bambai Main Bambu”.
A single judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued summons in the suit to Netflix and makers of the webseries, Hasmukh and directed them to file their written submissions within four weeks.
Orders on the point of ad-interim injunction stand reserved.
The suit has been preferred by Advocate Ashutosh Dubey, a lawyer registered with the Bar Council of Delhi.
Dubey (Plaintiff) has asserted that he has carved a “niche of his own by putting his determination, devotion, dedication, sincerity and hard work over the period”.
The Plaintiff’s grievance is directed against the episode which calls lawyers as thieves, scoundrel, goons and rapists.
It is the Plaintiff’s claim that these statements are highly disparaging, defamatory and bring disrepute to the law profession and advocates in the eyes of the general public.
“..the remarks have caused utmost damage to legal profession and impugn the image of lawyers in the eyes of millions of viewers/subscribers who visit the streaming website where the show is being streamed."
The Plaintiff has asserted that being a lawyer is a noble and honourable professional and the underlying ethos of the legal profession is the service to society, akin to that of a doctor.
Therefore, calling the statements made in the show as scandalous, the Plaintiff has claimed that they cast aspersions on the entire lawyer community.
“The defendants have forgotten that the Constitution of India was written by eminent lawyers. The person who led the front and compelled Britishers to leave India was also a lawyer..”, it is stated.
In view of the damage caused to the reputation of lawyers, the Plaintiff has not only sought to restrain the streaming of Hasmukh but has also asked for an unconditional apology.
The matter would be heard next on July 7.
Plaintiff appeared in person.
Senior Advocate Amit Sibal appeared for Netflix along with Advocates Saikrishna Rajagopal, Thomas George, Tanvi Sinha, and Manas Gaur.
Applause Entertainment Pvt. Ltd was represented by Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi, who was briefed by Advocates Nidhish Mehrotra, Anushree Rauta, Piyush Joshi and Chirag Luthria of ANM Global.
Emmay Entertainment, Nikhil Gonsalves and Nikkhil Adani were represented by a team from Desai & Partners comprising Advocates Hiren Kamod, Ami Desai and Surekha Srinivasan.
Vir Das was represented by a team from Anand & Anand & Khimani headed by Priyanka Khimani, along with Abhineet Pange, Chaitrika Patki, and Preeta Panthaki.
Read the Order:
Read the suit: