Makers of the movie Mohalla Assi have filed a contempt petition against the Central Bureau of Film Certification’s (CBFC) chairperson Prasoon Joshi. The petition was filed on December 22 after the CBFC failed to comply with a Delhi High Court order to certify the film.
Mohalla Assi, based on Kashinath Singh’s novel Kashi Ka Assi, has been directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi. Dwivedi is also a former CBFC board member who spoke out against Pahlaj Nihalani’s controversial term as its chairperson.
Makers of the film, which has been facing censor trouble for over two years, approached the court in November 2016 after the tribunal declined it certification, asking for 10 cuts. The makers had asked for an adult certificate. The tribunal had objections to the use of expletives and the makers were asked to obtain NOCs from all the politicians mentioned in the film. The cuts included removing every mention of the word ‘temple’ and ‘toilet’. The makers went to court since this would not only have meant editing out 20 minutes but also destroying its essence.
In its order on December 11, the Delhi HC dismissed all but one cut sought by the CBFC. Judge Sanjeev Sachdeva recognised that the language used in the film is part of the culture of Benaras where the film is set. CBFC was then asked to certify the film in seven days, allowing it to release.
However, the CBFC did not comply with the order and the film is currently in a limbo.
The contempt case will come up for hearing on January 5.