The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a plea seeking a stay on the release of Udta Punjab. A Bombay High Court order on Monday had cleared the film for release as scheduled with one cut and a fresh rating certificate, after the Central Board of Film Certification had recommended 89 cuts in the movie. Udta Punjab will release on Friday. An NGO had challenged the high court order at the apex court on Wednesday.
Co-producer of the movie Phantom Films had filed a copyright theft case with Mumbai Police's cyber crime cell on Wednesday, after it was leaked online prior to its Friday release. Screengrabs of the copy posted online showed that the version made available for illegal downloads on torrent websites was uncensored and most likely a copy of the film that was submitted to the CBFC.
"Two copies of the CD were sent to the CBFC, and this version is from the same source. It's literally a no-brainer to conclude where the leak has come from and, sure enough, the cyber crime cell will get to the bottom of this," an official from the anti-piracy wing of the film told Huffington Post India. The official added that they have pulled down around 600 links from several torrent sites. The download links later showed the message “removed due to a copyright complaint”. According to reports, the leaked version was 2 hours and 20 minutes long.
Moreover, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed against the film's release, saying there was nothing wrongful depicted in Udta Punjab, counsel for the filmmakers Sanjay Kaushal said. The court observed that the film neither showed Punjab in bad light, nor was it anti-women, he added.
Udta Punjab has been embroiled in a controversy since the certification board asked its producers to remove all references to Punjab except for in the title because the film, according to them, portrayed the state and its community in bad light. The Abhishek Chaubey-directed movie deals with the subject of substance abuse.