The Bombay High Court on Monday overruled the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) recommended 13 cuts for Bollywood film “Udta Punjab” and cleared it for release with one cut and three disclaimers by the filmmakers here.
A division bench comprising Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi also directed the CBFC to issue an ‘A’ Certificate to the film which is scheduled for release on Friday. “The court has set aside the 13 cuts demanded by the CBFCs’ Revising Committee and cleared the film for release with one cut — that of the hero shown urinating in public — which we had already agreed to cut earlier,” said a lawyer for the film producers who had filed the case.
He added that the court has ordered the CBFC to issue an ‘A’ (Adult) Certificate to facilitate the film’s scheduled 17 June release.
The film’s co-producer Anurag Kashyap welcomed the court ruling and said “our stand has been vindicated on the issue”.
Earlier, observing that the controversial Bollywood film “Udta Punjab” did not have anything that questions the country’s sovereignty, the Bombay High Court came down heavily on the CBFC saying it has no powers to “censor” films. The word ‘censor’ is not there in the board’s name (CBFC) and it should use its powers as per the Constitution and earlier Supreme Court verdicts, Justice Dharmadhikari and Justice Phansalkar-Joshi observed.
They further pointed out that the central theme of the film depicts the drug menace prevalent in a place (Punjab) and the worth of a film should be considered in its entirety instead of isolated factors like songs, dialogues, lines, words, etc, so there was no justification for deleting the word “Punjab” and other cities in that state.