‘Trial By Fire,’ starring Abhay Deol, will make its Netflix debut today after the Delhi High Court declined to order a delay in the movie’s distribution. The movie is about the Delhi movie theatre disaster of 1997, Uphaar.
After declining to grant an interim stay on the film’s release, the Delhi High Court provided significant relief to Abhay Deol, Rajshri Deshpande, and the makers of the film.
Sushil Ansal, a real estate magnate, had filed a complaint against the makers of ‘Trial by Fire,’ but the Justice Yashwant Varma bench rejected the complaint. Sushil was found guilty in the Uphaar catastrophe case, and he pleaded for an order that would prevent the production firm and others from distributing the film.
The film ‘Trial By Fire’ is based on Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy’s book ‘Trial By Fire: The Tragic Tale of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy.’ The characters of Neelam and Shekhar are played by Rajshri and Abhay, respectively.
Senior advocate Siddharth Aggarwal, Sushil’s attorney, argued that rather than being charged with murder, Sushil was found guilty under Section 304A of the IPC (causing death by negligence). According to him, the series calls him a “murderer,” and the “book is extremely defamatory and willfully untrue,” he continued. Additionally, Sushil asked that Penguin Random House Ltd. stop publishing and distributing the book.
The plaintiff was “not entitled to any relief,” according to Netflix’s senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, because the book on which this web series is based has been in the public domain since 2016. Rajiv said that even though the film’s teaser was made available online on January 4, Sushil didn’t appear in court until January 10, which was three days before the show’s scheduled premiere (January 13).
However, senior attorney Vikas Pahwa spoke in opposition to the lawsuit on behalf of the Upahar Tragedy Victims Association. “After the book was published, a petition asking the Apex Court to prohibit their travel abroad was submitted. They received a notice, and the book was mentioned in the application.”
On June 13, 1997, a fire in the former Uphaar cinema hall at Green Park (Delhi) resulted in 59 fatalities and more than a hundred injuries. The Hindi movie ‘Border’ was being shown when the fire started. The defendants in the case, including the cinema’s owners, Sushil Ansal and his brother, received sentences totaling one year in prison.