The Bombay High Court has agreed to hear former Central Board of Film Certification chief Pahlaj Nihalani’s plea against the panel’s decision to order cuts to his upcoming movie Rangeela Raja on November 13, ANI reported. The film is scheduled for release in theatres on November 16.
On November 6, the court’s vacation bench had declined his plea for an urgent hearing during Diwali.
The board’s former chief has claimed that the cuts are a decision influenced by personal vendetta as there are “no vulgar scenes or innuendo-filled dialogues” in the film, IANS reported. “When I was the chairperson [of CBFC] I left a lot of people angry and upset with me,” Nihalani said. “Now when my film has been submitted for censoring, they are taking out their frustrations on me. But I will not go down without a fight.”
Nihalani accused CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi of being biased. He alleged that Joshi was actor Aamir Khan’s friend and a film starring Khan was given preference over his movie. He said the cuts suggested for his movie “violate CBFC guidelines”.
“No one is surprised that Thugs of Hindostan [starring Khan] was given an all-clear censor certification out of turn, while my film Rangeela Raja which was submitted well in time 60 days ahead of release, has been slapped with multiple cuts which I am not taking. No sir,” he had told the news agency.
Nihalani, who raked up several controversies during his tenure at the Central Board of Film Certification, was sacked in August 2017. He had called Lipstick Under My Burkha a “lady-oriented” film, and had also objected to the use of the word intercourse in one of trailers of actor Shah Rukh Khan’s film Jab Harry Met Sejal.
In July 2017, he ordered a ban on actors drinking and smoking on screen. He had said actors should set an example for the society as millions of people look up to them. He had issued a directive saying a movie where alcohol is essential to the plot will be given an “adult” certificate.