CBFC withdraws pre-condition imposed on 'Sonia-Sonia'

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Mumbai, Mar 13 (UNI) Additional Solicitor General Rajendra Raghuvanshi today informed the Bombay High Court that the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) has withdrawn a precondition that Congress President Sonia Gandhi's nod be obtained to clear the film ''Sonia-Sonia'' which is based on her life.

An undated letter, imposing the condition was slapped on Thakur Dinesh Kumar, the producer of the film, in 2006.

A scrutiny committee of the Board had seen the movie and had recommended ''U'' certification but Ms Gandhi's ''No Objection'' was required.

Thakur had written to the CBFC chairperson saying he had written numerous letters to Ms Gandhi and various Congress leaders before proceeding with the shooting of the film. He had received neither any reply nor any objection from Sonia Gandhi or the party leaders. Thakur had requested the CBFC chairperson that this be deemed as the Congress president's no objection.

However, Thakur did not receive any reply from CBFC chairperson and, so, he approached the high court saying the Censor Board had no right to impose such precondition for certification.

The High Court asked the CBFC to withdraw the pre-condition letter when the producer's petition came up for hearing.

The producer had contended that there was no provision under law that imposed such a precondition. The film, produced in Hindi and English, was placed before CBFC for certification on December 19, 2005.

Thakur had also contended that the affected parties could definitely agitate if any defamatory material or scene was found in the movie after its release. But, since the movie was being held up unnecessarily by the pre-condition, it is causing great financial losses to the producer.

UNI XR MAZ AG RL RN1659

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