Home >industry >media >Udta Punjab gets Bombay HC nod with single cut in snub to CBFC

Mumbai: Controversial film Udta Punjab will release as per schedule on 17 June with only one cut suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and an ‘A’ certificate, the Bombay high court ruled on Monday.

A bench comprising justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi approved only one cut of the 13 suggested by CBFC and ruled that the film could be released as per schedule. It also directed CBFC to issue a fresh certificate to the film within 48 hours.

The court said it had read the script “in entirety to see if the film encouraged drugs" but found that it did not challenge the sovereignty and integrity of India with its references.

“Creative freedom should not be unnecessarily curbed; nobody can dictate to a filmmaker about the content of his film," the court noted in its order, according to the Press Trust of India.

According to the film’s producers, CBFC had asked them to drop ‘Punjab’ from the title as also references to politicians and cities to make the film appear fictitious.

However, CBFC head Pahlaj Nihalani claimed the board had never asked the producers to drop ‘Punjab’ from the title.

Udta Punjab’s producers had approached the high court last week after CBFC refused to clear the film, seeking as many as 94 cuts to the movie.

On Friday, the high court reminded Nihalani that his job was to “certify and not censor", pointing out that the Cinematograph Act did not mention the word ‘censor’.

On Sunday, Nihalani told reporters that the board had cleared the film with an ‘A’ certificate and 13 cuts.

Last week, co-producer Anurag Kashyap took to Twitter to lash out at Nihalani after the latter alleged that the movie had been funded by the Aam Aadmi Party. Asking all political parties to stay away from “his fight", Kashyap termed Nihalani an oligarch without naming him and the censor board his North Korea. A host of filmmakers and actors in the film came out in support of the film.

Shreeja Sen contributed to this story.

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