Udta Punjab row: Bombay High Court seeks explanation from Censor Board, fresh sparring

Bombay High Court today sought an explanation from the Censor Board over its insistence for deleting Punjab signboard in the drug-themed film which triggered fresh sparring.

By: PTI | Mumbai | Updated: June 9, 2016 8:13 pm
Udta Punjab, Udta Punjab ban, Udta Punjab censor board, Udta Punjab anurag kashyap, Udta Punjab pahlaj nihalani, Udta Punjab row, Udta Punjab controversy, Udta Punjab court, bombay high court, Entertainment news The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), however, submitted that all the 13 changes including deletion of Punjab in the film title suggested by its Revising Committee were justified and proper.

As the row over ‘Udta Punjab’ raged, the Bombay High Court today sought an explanation from the Censor Board over its insistence for deleting Punjab signboard in the drug-themed film which triggered fresh sparring.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), however, submitted that all the 13 changes including deletion of Punjab in the film title suggested by its Revising Committee were justified and proper.

A bench headed by Justice S C Dharmadhikari was hearing a petition filed by Phantom Films, producer of ‘Udta Punjab’ which is aggrieved by an order of the Revising Committee that suggested changes in the film before its release on June 17.

Justice Dharmadhikari compared ‘Udta Punjab’ with another film released earlier titled “Go, Goa, Gone” and said in that movie the state of Goa is shown as a place where people go to socialise in parties and also take banned drugs.

“If Goa can be shown as a place of drug abuse in that film, what is wrong if Punjab is shown in Udta Punjab?” asked the Judge.

The Censor Board lawyer argued that the order of the Revising Committee suggesting 13 changes in the film was not arbitrary and the committee had applied its mind while making these suggestions.

“We are objecting to the reference of Punjab and its people and the language used in the film”, the lawyer argued.

Hearing the arguments, the court said that it was not satisfied with the first two suggestions made by the Censor Board about removing references to places in that state such as Chandigarh, Amritsar, Tarantaran, Jashanpura, Moga and Ludhiana.

On other suggestions of Revising Committee, the Censor Board lawyer said he would make submissions tomorrow, following which the court deferred the matter.

However, Ravi Kadam, Counsel for Phantom Films, the production company of Anurag Kashyap, said the impugned order was issued without any application of mind and was arbitrary.

“Punjab is an integral part of the concept and cannot be deleted from the film”, he said.

Separately, Kashyap who is the face of the fight against the Censor Board, said he felt blackmailed throughout his battle with the film body over the certification for “Udta Punjab”.

Kashyap said in all his previous run-ins with either the board or the government, he never felt he was being silenced, but this particular case was different.

With opposition parties blaming ruling SAD-BJP of using influence to “censor” ‘Udta Punjab’, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the government has “nothing to do” with the movie, saying it is a matter between producers and the Censor Board.

Badal’s rival and Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh said he has written to producers of ‘Udta Punjab’, requesting them to provide him uncensored CDs of the film to release it in Amritsar on June 17.

Kashyap got support of BSP supremo Mayawati who said there was “nothing wrong” with ‘Udta Punjab’ and that the party supported it.

After Ashoke Pandit, another Censor Board member Chandramukh Sharma come out against the functioning of its chief Pankaj Nihalani, saying he would request him to go to the government and ask for changing the name of CBFC to “PRO of government”.

For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App

  1. Onyx Cleaner
    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:14 am
    Why don't they put a disclaimer at the start, in the middle and at the end and wherever possible in-between the scenes that 'Akali-BJP Government is fighting drug abuse and people should vote for them in 2017'..? Then this film will become 'national'. Otherwise it is anti-national.
    (0)(0)
    Reply
    1. Abhijit Bhattacharya
      Jun 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm
      Instead of Udta Punjab, we must make a film on Modi so that our country becomes much more educated. Jai Hind. Jai Bhartat Mataki...lol
      (0)(0)
      Reply
      1. H
        Hitchcock
        Jun 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm
        Court was comparing this film with another film Go,Goa, Gone. This is not a question about guidelines. Similarly one court ordered if PK hurts somepne feelings then he should not watch the movie but on other hand Kamal Hasan had to stop release of film and make cuts. Both the cases were related with religious sentiments but the verdicts were different. So, there is something wrong with judiciary in India
        (0)(0)
        Reply
        1. H
          Hitchcock
          Jun 9, 2016 at 4:18 pm
          What is wrong with judiciary system in India ?? CBFC has their own guidelines to take the decisions. Court can maximum check if CBFC has taken the decisions as per their gudelines but Court can not force any other Government body to change their decision if it has followed its own guidelines.
          (0)(0)
          Reply
          1. M
            madhusudhan
            Jun 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm
            Last paragraph has so many mistakes.lt;br/gt;Shameful The Indian Express.
            (0)(0)
            Reply
            1. Load More Comments