The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday refused to grant an interim stay on the release of the upcoming Hindi film, Santa Banta Pvt Ltd, which is scheduled for release on April 22.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Charan Singh Sapra, president, Punjabi Cultural Heritage Board, Mumbai, stating the film was “indecent, obscene, and defamatory to the Sikh community”.
Sapra claimed in the plea that if cleared for public viewing, the film, because of its “inherently obscene” script, could disturb the law and order situation in several places across the country.
A division bench headed by justice SC Dharmadhikari, however, said, “There is no law in the country that could stall the release of a film without giving a hearing to the filmmakers.”
Sapra’s counsel advocate BA Desai claimed the objections in the plea were not restricted to a “community or religion, but the script contains filthy and indecent jokes that could disturb public or social order”.
The petition, filed by Charan Singh Sapra, Congress MLC from Mulund, alleged the film had hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community.
He also showed posters of the film that stars actors Boman Irani and Vir Das to the bench, alleging indecency and urging for a direction to the censor board to withdraw the certificate issued to the producers to exhibit the film in public theatres across over the country.
Desai cited Supreme Court judgments to show that “indecent behaviour of characters in a film could not be tolerated and interests of all communities in a pluralistic society must be protected”.
He said the dialogues of the film went against the spirit of the Constitution.
Senior lawyer and former advocate general Ravi Kadam, who appeared on behalf of the film producers, argued the censor board had already issued six additional cuts to the script before granting it a re-certification on April 7.
The HC has now directed the filmmakers and producers to file their reply.