The Censor Board on Wednesday told Delhi High Court that Bollywood movie ’31st October’, based on the aftermath of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi including the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, was certified for release after deletion of all offensive scenes.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) made the submission before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal which is hearing a PIL opposing release of the film claiming that it is against the ideology of the “oldest political party of the country”.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984. Petitioner Ajay Katara’s lawyer told the court that a 55 second video clipping of the film has been released online and it shows an actor, having close resemblance to an existing political figure, inciting violence.
Katara has not named the political figure in his plea. The bench asked Katara’s lawyer whether there have been any “instances” of violence after release of the video clipping and trailers and also whether anyone else has expressed views similar to that of the petitioner.
To this, the lawyer said no. After hearing arguments of both sides the bench said it will pass orders and reserved its verdict. During the brief hearing, CBFC’s lawyer told the bench that the film, starring Soha Ali Khan and Vir Das in the lead, had come to it for certification in July last year and the Board had asked the producers to delete several scenes.
The Board said that the movie, which is scheduled to be released on October 21, has been certified for public viewing after the deletions, as ordered by CBFC, were made.
Katara had filed the PIL afresh after the high court on October 5 had refused to entertain it, saying the plea was “badly drafted” and the CBFC was neither approached before, nor made a party.
The petitioner had then filed the petition again after making CBFC a party.
The plea has claimed that the movie contains various scenes “aimed and targeted against a political figure of the country”.
The PIL claims that the film’s producer, Magical Dreams Production Pvt Ltd, has used a look-alike of the unnamed political figure who has been “painted in a bad light”.