Irked over Censor Board's refusal to grant permission to air a song based on the national anthem in his upcoming film Rann, its director Ramgopal Varma has decided to move Bombay High Court.
"I have decided to move the High Court tomorrow against Censor Board's decision not to air the song from my movie," Varma told PTI.
Terming Censor Board of Film Certification's action as "arbitrary" and "unconstitutional", Varma in a statement said, "I have lost my faith in the said board and am now going to seek recourse by the law of the land. I am going to approach the High Court for justice."
The Censor Board on Friday reviewed the film's promo and decided to refuse permission under guideline 219 of Section 5 (b)2 of Cinematograph Act as well as Prevention of insult to National Honour Act, 1971.
Vijaya Chawak, Secretary to the CBFC chairperson Sharmila Tagore had said the tune of the national anthem could not be played around with and distorted.
The song 'Jana Gana Mana Rann hai, Is Rann mein Zakhmi Hua hai Bharat ka Bhagya vidhata' is played on the tune of the national anthem. Guideline 2 (xix) of the section 5B2 of the Cinematograph Act 1952 says national symbols and emblems are not shown except in accordance with the provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1950, Varma said.
Varma said, "according to this interpretation by the Censor Board, no Indian Film can show the Tricolour, Rashtrapati Bhavan or Parliament House."
"And if the Censor Board did take that position, they could ask us for relevant cuts in the promo. In the whole promo of 2.10 minutes, there are two shots of the same for exactly eight seconds," he said.
Section 3 of National Honor Act states whosoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Indian National Anthem or causes disturbance to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both, Varma said.
"In this case, there is no such violation as there is nothing like preventing the singing of the National Anthem in public or causing disturbance to any assembly," he said.
"Every citizen has the right to freely express unless it is contrary to the peace and integrity of the country. By denying me the right to release this promo, the Board is violating my fundamental right," he said.
"It is apparent that the Censor Board, prejudged the promo and did neither follow the guidelines nor sought my clarification for the same," he added.