Over a week after its completion, the International Indian Film Awards continues to make the headlines. Central Board of Film Certification chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani has sent a legal notice to IIFA and its organiser, Wizcraft International, for “grossly defamatory expressions”. In the five-page notice, Nihalani takes objection to a gag by actors Riteish Deshmukh and Manish Paul, in which they called him a “watchman” and used his photograph.
The notice demands an apology in television channels and newspapers, apart from a pledge stating they will not defame Nihalani in the future. “These people forget they insult not me, but the position held by me as the chairperson of the CBFC,” Nihalani was quoted in the Deccan Chronicle newspaper as saying. “It’s time to let them know the joke is not on me.”
The IIFA organisers responded that Nihalani has misunderstood the joke. “There is no statement or event in the show that warrants any notice,” the director of Wizcraft International, Sabbas Joseph, told Mid-Day . “Pahlajji will get a better understanding of the show once he sees it. We have always respected Pahlajji, who has originally been on the IIFA advisory board, and has always been [of tremendous] help. I am sure it is a misunderstanding that will be corrected once Pahlajji sees the show on television again.”