Makers of film Udta Punjab Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl on Wednesday moved the Bombay High Court against the Central Board Of Film Certification's list of cuts for the film, reported ANI. Kashyap's Phantom Films, in association with Balaji Motion Pictures, jointly produced the movie, which examines the theme of substance abuse in India. Several Bollywood figures backed the film's producers on Wednesday and criticised the censor board's move.
Meanwhile, CBFC Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani accused Kashyap of taking money from the Aam Aadmi Party to depict the state unfavourably. Nihalani also denied that he had faced political pressure to recommend cuts in the movie. "Picture has been passed but with certain cuts. There is no politics in the CBFC," he said later, adding that Kashyap was making allegations against him.
Earlier, Nihalani had said that Udta Punjab violated several of the board's guidelines and would bring a bad name to the community in the state, if released. "The film shows 70% of the people in the state consume drugs. The movie puts entire Punjab in bad light. Nearly 98% of the movie is in Punjabi and based entirely in Punjab. It is not a Hindi film at all," he had said in defense of the cuts issued for the Kareena Kapoor-Shahid Kapoor starrer.
The film is slated for a June 17 release, which is now likely to be postponed because it does not have a censor certificate yet.
Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has raised objections to the film and its depiction of the state. Media reports have suggested that the Board's refusal to give certification to the film is politically motivated, reported Hindustan Times. Punjab's Assembly polls are scheduled for February 2017.