The Bombay high court on Friday refused to interfere with the release of the movie ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum 3’, saying the job of censoring must be left to expert bodies like the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The court, however, issued notices to the Centre and CBFC asking them to clarify what according to them constitutes ‘morality’ and ‘suitability’ when it comes to approving or disapproving content for film and television, considering petitioners were repeatedly approaching courts with “objections against some film or another”.
A bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice GS Kulkarni were hearing a public interest litigation filed on Thursday asking for the film’s release to be stayed.
The PIL said the film offends one’s moral sensibilities, is against India’s culture and raised objections particularly to some dialogues, posters and stills saying these were not suitable for “Indian viewers, especially children.”
The counsel for the makers of the film submitted before the bench the movie had been granted an adult certificate by the CBFC and thus, could not be viewed by children. “And, the dialogues and stills the petitioner has objected to are now a way of life,” the counsel told the court.
Apart from the stay, the PIL also sought for a criminal offence to be registered against the filmmakers, producers, its financiers and the censor board, and punitive action be taken against them all.
But the bench refused to entertain the “last minute plea”, and said objections to the release of a film must be filed by way of petitions “at least ten days before its scheduled date of release”.
It ruled that the authorities must be “given a chance make their stand clear” as the court saw many such petitions against films.
“The approvals and certifications to movies and television shows are granted after scrutiny and after they pass through certain defined checks of the CBFC. Thus, courts must not necessarily interfere on every occasion. But we must hear what the government and the CBFC consider as moral or appropriate. They must define the checks that they employ to conclude what is appropriate or suitable for the society to watch or hear,” the bench said.