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Film Awards: Govt seeks Law Ministry opinion on Mumbai HC ruling

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 23 (UNI) The announcement of the National Film Awards will be delayed further, as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has sought the opinion of the Law Ministry on the Mumbai High Court judgement allowing entry of uncensosred films.

The High Court ruling goes against the rules and regulations of the state sponsored awards that requires a film to be passed by the Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC) to be eligible as entry for the Awards.

''The jury has finalised the names of the awardees and submitted them to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in a sealed cover,'' a Ministry official told UNI.

''We cannot take any chances in declaring the awards unless we are very sure of our legal status. That's why the opinion of the Law Ministry has been sought,'' he said.

Meanwhile, reliable sources said Film Star Amitabh Bachchan and Sarika have been selected for the National Film Awards in the best actor and best actress category respectively, while the honour for the best feature film would go to Bengali film 'Kalpurush' of Buddhadev Dasgupta.

Mr Bachchan has been chosen for the honour for his role in 'Black' directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sarika for her '' very powerful role'' in Parzania, the sources said.

The sources said that Mr Anupam Kher has been selected special jury award.

However, Bollywood is going to miss the awards for best music and choreography this time. The honour goes to a Tamil Film 'Sringaram' which is based on the life of devdasi tradition in temples, they said.

But a formal announcement will be made once the legal hassles are cleared.

The last month's judgement of a division bench of the Bombay High Court has opened floodgates for a large number of independent entries that had not been submitted to the CBFC for clearance.

The juries constituted by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) for the 53rd National Film Awards considered only the films cleared by the Censor Board. In all, 125 feature films and 160-odd non-feature films were in the running for the National Awards this year.

It is not for the first time that awards have landed into a controversy. In 1997, awards for actor Kamal Hasan was opposed beacuse his elder brother happened to be on the jury. A year earlier, in 1996, similar honour for actress Kiron Kher for her film 'Bariwali' had also raised many eyebrows, as later it was alleged that her dilaogue were dubbed in some other artiste's voice.

A bitter controversy had also dogged the Awards for 2001, when Ravina Tandon was selected for the best actress award for her role in Daman.


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