''Udta Punjab' row: Now Punjab & Haryana HC to take call on it

Chandigarh, Jun 13 Even as the Bombay High Court directed the censor board to certify 'Udta Punjab', a petition has been filed against the film in Punjab and Haryana High Court which today decided to take a call on it on June 16 after the Amicus Curiae assesses whether it is fit for release.

Vacation bench of Justice M Jeyapal directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and producer of the movie to screen the film tomorrow at CBFC's theatre in Mumbai at 4 pm which would be viewed by Amicus Curiae – advocate Sanjay N Kantawala – and representatives of the petitioner, central government, CBFC and the producer.

udta punjab

The Amicus Curiae has been directed by the court to submit his report on June 16 focusing on the content of film so that the court could take a decision whether the film is fit for public exhibition. In his petition, Jalandhar-based advocate Wattan Sharma has submitted, on the basis of several media reports, that the film slated to be released on June 17 has portrayed Punjab in bad light.

The petition has been alleged that the movie has done "negative branding" of Punjab and its people and therefore the film is unfit for exhibition. The case has been adjourned for next hearing to June 16, a day ahead of schedule release of the controversial film.

The court put up a question to the counsel appearing for the petitioner whether the relief sought in this writ petition has direct bearing on the writ petition filed by the Producer before the Bombay High Court.

To this, the petitioner submitted that the writ petition before the Bombay High Court relates to a challenge made by the Producer against the inaction by the Revisional Committee of the Central Board of Film Certification, whereas the present writ petition has been filed challenging the content of the film on the ground that it was unfit for exhibition.

Earlier today, the Bombay High Court admonished the CBFC for acting like a "grandmother" and ordered it to certify the movie within 48 hours with just one cut instead of 13 suggested by the CBFC so that its producers can release it on schedule on June 17.

"Barring the deletion of the urination scene as directed by the board and modification of the disclaimer, the June 6 order passed by the CBFC's revising committee directing for a total of 13 changes in the movie is quashed and set aside," the court said, clearing the decks for the release of the drug-themed film whose makers were locked in a dispute with the censor board.


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