Don’t be overly critical of film: HC
VERDICT ON MONDAY Court slams CBFC, asks Udta Punjab makers to delete a scene
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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