Don’t be overly crit­i­cal of film: HC

VER­DICT ON MON­DAY Court slams CBFC, asks Udta Pun­jab mak­ers to delete a scene

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The Bom­bay high court came down heav­ily on the cen­sor board on Fri­day, say­ing it was “overly crit­i­cal” of a con­tro­ver­sial drug-themed film, but also asked its pro­duc­ers to delete a po­ten­tially of­fen­sive scene and tone down ex­ple­tives.

A bench of judges SC Dhar­mad­hikari and Shalini Phansalka­rJoshi ob­served that the Shahid Kapoor-star­rer, Udta Pun­jab, did not prima fa­cie ap­pear to glo­rify drug abuse, one of the main con­tentions of the cen­sor board seek­ing sev­eral cuts to the film co-pro­duced by Bol­ly­wood show­man Anurag Kashyap. “If the movie is glo­ri­fy­ing use of drugs then ban the en­tire movie,” the court said.

The bench said it will pass an or­der on Mon­day on the other cuts sug­gested by the Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CBFC) which has trig­gered a de­bate on cre­ative free­dom amid al­le­ga­tions of po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence.

As­sem­bly polls are due in Pun­jab early next year and the AAP and Congress have ac­cused the BJP of in­flu­enc­ing the cen­sor board to hide the men­ace of drug abuse that has al­legedly crip­pled a gen­er­a­tion in the state. The BJP is a part­ner of the SAD in Pun­jab’s rul­ing al­liance.

The con­tro­versy has seen al­most all of Bol­ly­wood come out to op­pose the no­to­ri­ously sen­si­tive cen­sor board, which blocked the re­lease of a toned-down ver­sion of “Fifty Shades of Grey” last year and deemed two James Bond kiss­ing scenes un­suit­able for an In­dian au­di­ence.

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