The Bombay High Court orders CBFC to issue fresh certificate to the movie in two days.
The makers of Udta Punjab can finally heave a sigh of relief as the Bombay High Court has ordered the release of the film with just one cut. Earlier the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had suggested 89 cuts for the film and removal of any references of Punjab, MLA, MP, politics and election. The High Court observed that since MP, MLA and Parliament don’t relate to any outfit these words can be retained in the film. It reminded Nihalani that his job was to certify films and not censor them. The High Court also asked to award certificate to the film.
“We have cleared Udta Punjab under A (restricted for adult audience) category after 13 cuts,” Nihalani said.
Earlier film makers had criticised Nihalani for suggesting a very large number of cuts and also appealed to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to remove him from the post of CBFC chairman.
“The CBFCs job is now over. It is now up to the producer to go to the court or tribunal. We will implement the order,” Nihalani had said.
The High Court had ordered for the removal of (cut number 9) where Tommy Singh is urinating in front of a crowd and said that it was not necessary.
“There is no mention of the word ‘censor’ in the Board. The Board should use its powers under the constitutional framework and the SC’s directions,” the Bombay HC said.
The Abhishek Chaubey-directed film is tentatively scheduled for release on June 17. The film, co-produced by Kashyap’s Phantom Films and Balaji Motion Pictures, highlights the rampant drug menace in Punjab and its impact on the state’s youth.
Meanwhile filmmakers Shatrugan Sinha, actor and BJP leader said, “Why there is a huge outcry to sack Pahlaj Nihalani? He is only doing his duty. One should ask the government to change the guidelines. If Udta Punjab is focusing on drug problem, I believe its sincere attempt.”
Hansal Mehta, director, “It’s a good decision. The film industry had to seek judicial intervention in this matter. We can’t be burdening the court. It is a wake up call for us. I will definitely watch the movie.”
Karan Johar tweeted, “And justice there is!!!!!!!!! #BombayHighCourt ….#UdtaPunjab …as a filmmaker I feel empowered and relieved!!!!
Anurag Kashyap tweeted, “I believe!!!!!!
Meanwhile, responding to a query, Nihalani, who has been criticised by the film fraternity for his “dictatorial attitude” said, “those call me cheap are themselves ‘ghatia’ (lowly)”.
Nihalani clarified that he never called himself as “chamcha” (sycophant) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“There is nothing wrong in admiring the Prime Minister. I never said (I am) a chamcha,” he said.