The Bombay High Court has cleared Abhishek Chaubey’s film Udta Punjab for release.The CBFC had ordered cuts of 13 kinds. The court said it’s good to go with just one.The Bombay High Court today asked the Central Board of Film Certification to give the film Udta Punjab an A certificate with just one cut, saying that there was no blanket ban on Udta Punjab. The film is will release on June 17. The court also asked the filmmakers to add new disclaimers. The scene where Shahid Kapoor’s character Tommy Singh is shown urinating in front of a crowd needs to be chopped off, ruled the court. The CBFC has been directed to issue an ‘A’ certificate to Udta Punjab in .
Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, the film Udta Punjab reached the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for a certificate.That’s when it began to fly, with wild speculation about the board’s intent and the film’s content.The high court said the film doesn’t defame Punjab, neither was it made with the Punjab polls in mind. Ruling in favour of the Udta Punjab makers, the judge said that no one can interfere if creative freedom is not abused. It was also pointed out that the film doesn’t encourage drug addiction. “Cut number 10, about zamneen banjar does not suggest anything about the state. Punjab is a land of warriors,they are not that sensitive,” said Justice SC Dharmadhikari, adding “Extreme responses will not just curb but kill creativity.” The high court said the scene with Tommy urinating in front of the crowd was not required. “Cut 9 (the rockstar urinating) justified. Much material for filmmakers to drive home their point even without this scene,” ruled Dharmadhikari. The CBFC, however, swallowed the verdict with a pinch of salt. The board told the high court that the final certificate would be given to the film only after ‘verification of modification’. To this, Dharmadhikari’s response was, “This reflects bureaucratic mindset! What is the need to distrust them so much?” reported India Today journalist Shilpa Rathnam.
The Pahlaj Nihalani-headed censor board ordered more than 89 cuts and all references to Punjab be dropped. That would have meant chopping half of the title of the film. The filmmakers moved court against the board. Nihalani said there was no attempt to remove Punjab from the name. Filmmakers said Nihalani’s 13 cuts would actually result in as many as 94 cuts. Many filmmakers, including Shyam Benegal, weighed in for the film. Udta Punjab deals with the menace of drug abuse in Punjab. The sensitive subject led to much drama, including mudslinging between Anurag Kashyap and Pahlaj Nihalani before the former went to court.
Rallying behind Udta Punjab co-producer Anurag Kashyap, the film team knocked the door of the Bombay High Court. On Friday (June 10), the Bombay High Court heard the case and asked the CBFC to justify the cuts it had suggested.Justice SC Dharmadhikari asked the CBFC, “Give the film a certificate. What is the need for cuts?” On Monday (June 13) morning, Pahlaj Nihalani told reporters that the CBFC had cleared Udta Punjab with 13 cuts and given an ‘A’ certificate to the film. Nothing different from what he said on Friday. Nihalani said, “The CBFC’s job is now over. It is now up to the producer to go to the court or tribunal. We will implement the order.” The film stars Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh in pivotal roles and is slated for a June 17 release. Udta Punjab, the CBFC pointed out, painted the BJP-SAD-ruled state of Punjab in a negative light. With Punjab set for assembly elections early next year, the Udta Punjab issue took on political hues, with both the BJP and AAP taking turns to blame each other.