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SC moved to halt the screening of ‘Udta Punjab’


New Delhi: A Punjab-based NGO, Human Rights Awareness Association, on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court to seek putting on hold the screening of controversial film “Udta Punjab” as it projected the agrarian state in a bad light.

The NGO told a vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice L. Nageswara Rao that the Bombay High Court, which on Monday had cleared the screening of the film with one cut, could not have interfered with the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

However, the vacation bench said that it could consider the plea only after the petition by the NGO was numbered by the court’s registry.

Appearing for the Jalandhar-based NGO, senior counsel Subramonium Prasad told the vacation bench that CBFC had rightly directed the producer of “Udta Punjab” to delete all objectionable scenes.

The Bombay High Court, while directing the CBFC to grant an ‘A’ certificate to the film within 48 hours, had asked the producers of “Udta Punjab” to make one cut and insert three disclaimers saying, among others that the film did not promote drugs.

By its June 13 order, the high court, while setting aside the 13 cuts as were directed by the CBFC’s Revising Committee, had cleared the film for release with one cut — that of the hero Shahid Kapoor shown urinating in public. This was the scene that the producers had themselves offered to delete from the film.

It had asked the producers to carry three disclaimers: “We do not promote the use of drugs”, “We do not promote the use of cuss words”, and “We are not attacking any particular state” — and a reference to Pakistan, which the filmmakers have agreed to comply with.

Along with Shahid Kapoor, the film features Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles.

Earlier, the CBFC had directed 89 cuts in the film before its release. However, it was brought down to 13 by CBFC’s Revising Committee.


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