The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cong notice on Sonia film

New Delhi, July 11: The Congress today served a legal notice to the producer and director of a film on Sonia Gandhi for not taking the consent of either the party or its president for the project.

The film, to be produced by Sunanda Murli Manohar and directed by Jagmohan Mundra, is based on an unauthorised biography of Sonia by The Telegraph’s special correspondent, Rasheed Kidwai.

The notice, which also names Kidwai, contends that the film is to be a “biographical” account of Sonia but no one had sought authorisation or a go-ahead from either her or the Congress. Monica Bellucci is to play Sonia.

Lawyers Vipul Maheshwari and Joy Basu, who served the notice on the Congress’s behalf, said no “authorisation, implied or explicit” had been sought from Sonia or her family by either the filmmakers or the writer.

The notice said the Congress did not accept “partially or fully” that the film would be a “fair or correct portrayal” of Sonia because the writer had clarified that the book was not an authorised biography of Sonia.

Therefore, “by purportedly embarking on this venture, the noticees above are not only indulging in dissemination of false and misleading information but wrongfully misrepresenting that the venture had the tacit or implied support” of the Congress and its president.

The notice did not demand that the film should be scrapped. It said that in view of the facts and circumstances mentioned, the producer, director and writer should not make “misleading claims” on authorisation.

Kidwai had last year sent a legal letter to the film producer saying “his only concern is to ensure that Ms Sonia Gandhi is fairly portrayed both as a person and politician”.

Manohar had sought the permission of Penguin India '- publishers of Kidwai’s Sonia: A Biography ' to make the film.

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