CHANDIGARH: The family of Neerja Bhanot, whose bravery was captured in the 2016 film `Neerja’, has served legal notice to filmmakers for not sharing the movie’s net profits. The film made more than Rs100 crore at the box office and was one of the most successful Bollywood movies released last year. Sources said the producers had entered a contract with the Chandigarh-based family, promising 10% net profits.The family will now approach the court as the contract has been breached.
The film portrays the story of a brave 23-year-old, who as flight attendant aboard the Pan Am 73 flight that was hijacked in Karachi in 1986, was shot dead while helping passengers escape through emergency exits. Neerja was awarded Ashok Chakra for her extraordinary bravery. Actor Sonam Kapoor essayed the role of Neerja in the movie. Sonam won a special mention by the jury of the National Film Awards. The film bagged the `Best Feature Film in Hindi’ award at the 64th National Film Awards last month. Aneesh Bhanot, brother of Neerja, said that, “I will not comment on this matter at this stage. Neerja would have told us to never tolerate injustice.” He refused to comment on the impending legal battle. Reliable sources said the family was going to move the Punjab and Haryana high court and a legal notice was sent to the makers of the movie, which won a National Award.
Anusha Nagarajan, a Supreme Court lawyer, who will fight the case on behalf of the family, said that, “Arbitration proceedings have been initiated and notice has been sent. The arbitration tribunal is yet to be constituted.” The Bhanot family had started the Pan Am Trust, which rewards women who have faced social injustice.The family had plans for a similar project from the money they would get from the producers of the movie. Meanwhile, Bling producer Atul Kasbekar told TOI, “We are going to issue a statement as soon as our lawyer comes back and till then we cannot say anything.”