The Bombay high court’s verdict on Monday could have far-reaching repercussions on the workings of the Censor Board. The court cleared Udta Punjab with just one cut.
Reacting to this, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani said, “We completely respect the honourable court’s verdict. Now that the honourable court has given Udta Punjab the go-ahead other filmmakers too can appeal to the courts.”
Recalling the CBFC’s decision to pass the film with cuts, Nihalani said, “We offered to clear Udta Punjab with an ‘A’ certificate and some cuts which we thought would not hamper the flow of the narrative. It has never been the CBFC’s endeavour to obstruct a film’s creativity or to be a stumbling block to its release. The producers of Udta Punjab were supposed to return to us with the cuts that we suggested.
The CBFC chief said the censor board has cleared another film about the drug menace. “If we had a problem with the drug problem in Punjab being shown on screen why would we clear the Punjabi film Dhee Punjab Dee which deals with the same issue? Its producer Baljeet Singh has gone on record to condemn the strong language in Udta Punjab. We at the CBFC are not against the film.”
Pahlaj Nihalani said the CBFC is “absolutely in-sync” with the honourable high court’s decision. “We’re happy with whatever they’ve decided,” he said.
The high court allowed the makers of Udta Punjab to release the film with just one cut and a revised disclaimer. The High court ordered Udta Punjab makers to remove the scene where Shahid Kapoor is seen urinating on crowd. Any reference to Pakistan is also to be removed.