The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal to expeditiously hear Pahlaj Nihalani’s appeal after his upcoming movie Rangeela Raja received several cuts order from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Nihalani, in his petition filed through his lawyer Ashok Saraogi, was seeking direction to quash the November 2, 2016, order of the CBFC and grant necessary certification, either Universal (U) or Universal with Adult (UA), for the film that is produced by Nihalani.
Saraogi told the court that they have moved the appellate body and it is likely to hear them on November 23. But if it is delayed on that day, they will have to wait for one more Friday to release the movie. A division bench of Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice Sarang Kotwal, asked lawyer Advait Sethna appearing for the CBFC: “Why is the appeal not heard expeditiously?”
Sethna told the court that the appeal was filed only on November 16. The bench then directed the appellate authority (FCAT) to grant an expeditious hearing to Nihalani’s plea.
Nihalani’s petition said that in any case, after the screening of the film, as per the system, if any portion is found objectionable, the producer is given all opportunity for the purpose of putting his case and justifying the scene and/or dialogue. Nihalani said, however, in this case, no such opportunity was accorded to him.
The petition also said that “prima facie, if the cuts and the dialogues are taken into consideration, the same do not show any vulgarity of whatsoever nature”. Nihalani added that only because he is the former chairman of the censor board and had been “very strict” during
his tenure, he is now being harassed.