The Bombay High Court Wednesday directed the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to expeditiously hear a petition filed by filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani challenging the Censor Board’s suggestion to make around “20 cuts” in his upcoming film Rangeela Raja.
Nihalani, a former chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), had approached the high court earlier this month claiming that the editing cuts suggested by the body were “illogical” and “meaningless”. “There is no vulgarity, no double meaning dialogues (in the film). Still, I’ve been asked to delete a massive number of dialogues and scenes,” he had said in his petition.
The vacation bench of the HC had directed Nihalani to approach the FCAT. On Wednesday, Nihalani’s counsel Ashok Sarogi informed a bench of Justices BP Dharamadhikari and Sarang Kotwal that the FCAT was scheduled to hear the matter on November 23. He sought the HC’s directions to the CBFC to not seek any adjournments while the FCAT hears the matter.
“If the matter is delayed before FCAT, I (Nihalani) will lose one more Friday and the release of my film will be further delayed,” Sarogi said.
At this, the bench directed the CBFC to remain present before FCAT on November 23. “The appellate authority (FCAT) is also directed to grant an expeditious hearing to the petitioner’s (Nihalani’s) plea,” the bench said.
Rangeela Raja is written and produced by Pahlaj Nihalani, and directed by Sikander Bharti. The film stars Govinda, Shakti Kapoor and Prem Chopra. It introduces Mishika Chourasia and Anupama Agnihotri.