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HL: Udta Punjab gets A certificate with ‘13’ suggestions from CBFC Strap: Matter to be heard again on Thursday

The makers of the Hindi film Udta Panjab, starring Shahid Kapoor, have approached the Bombay high court against the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)

mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2016 11:26 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

MUMBAI: After nationwide criticism about its approach in clearing Udta Punjab, the producers of the upcoming Hindi film received an order from the Central Board of Film Certification, popularly known as the Censor Board, granting “A” certificate for the movie with 13 suggestions, including a few cuts.

Senior advocate Ravi Kadam, who represented Anurag Kashyap’s production house Phantom Films, informed the Bombay high court on Wednesday that the producers of the movie received an order from the Censor Board on Wednesday afternoon.

Kashyap’s lawyer Amit Naik said that though the order is dated June 6, it was received only after they mentioned the writ petition filed by Phantom Films and Vikas Behl was mentioned for urgent hearing before the division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi.

Kadam sought leave of the court to amend the petition for incorporating challenge to the order saying the Censor Board had made 13 suggestions, including some cuts, in the order. Kadam pointed out that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal chairman was not available for now, and therefore urged the court to take up the amended petition for hearing tomorrow. Accordingly, the bench posted the petition filed by Phantom Films for further hearing on Thursday.

Phantom Films along with Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures has produced the Shahid Kapoor – Alia Bhatt starrer film, which is slated to be released on June 17. The producers of the movie had approached high court complaining that though they had submitted their film for certification long back, and though the examining committee as also the reviewing committee of the Censor Board had examined the movie, they had not received any official communication from the Board, although there appeared lengthy stories in the media about the cuts proposed by the Board.

According to news reports, the Censor Board had said that the film producers cannot retain the word “Punjab” in its title. Besides, the Censor Board has also asked for the removal of verbal as well as visual references of Punjab in the film. It also wanted the producers to delete the names of cities from the northern state as also the words MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly), MLC (Member of Legislative Council) removed.

The Censor Board had allegedly first refused to give a certificate to Udta Punjab unless the changes were made. The film was then sent to the Censor Boards’ Review Committee, which purportedly upheld the cuts suggested by the Board.

As regards “A” certification for the film, Amit Naik said that the producers had applied for “A” certification only, so as to avoid the cuts.