Punjab based NGO moves SC for stay on release of ‘Udta Punjab’

New Delhi: A Punjab based NGO today moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on the release of controversial Bollywood film ‘Udta Punjab’, saying it depicted the state in “bad light”.

The NGO in its plea also challenged the Bombay High Court order clearing the decks for the release of the movie after deleting a urination scene and displaying a revised disclaimer.

The plea for urgent hearing was mentioned before a vacation bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and L Nageswara Rao, which asked the NGO, Human Rights Awareness Association to first get the petition cleared from the registry.

During a brief hearing, counsel appearing for the NGO
said “the movie depicts the state in bad light.”

He said that Bombay High Court should not have quashed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) order for deletion of objectionable scenes.

The High Court had earlier this week cleared the movie, scheduled for release on June 17, after deleting only one scene.

In the High Court, Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films had challenged the CBFC’s revising committee order of June 6 directing for a total of 13 changes in the movie.

It has noted that the CBFC is not empowered by law to censor films, as the word censor is not included in the Cinematograph Act.

As per the revised disclaimer, the ‘Udta Punjab’ makers will have to delete reference to Pakistan. They will also have to make additions to the disclaimer to the effect that the movie, its characters and the filmmakers do not promote the use of drugs and abusive language, and that the film is only attempting to depict the reality of drug abuse.

The Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh starrer delves into how a large number of youth in Punjab have succumbed to drugs.

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