CBFC Chairperson, Prasoon Joshi issued contempt notice for failure to respond to plea against Padmaavat  

Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Prasoon Joshi, was issued a contempt notice on 16th January by the Allahabad High Court for not responding to a plea against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, made on court order. The court has granted him a period of three weeks to respond to the petition before the next hearing of the case on February 12th.

The petitioner had filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking a ban on the movie alleging that it promoted the practise of Sati. On November 9, 2017 the High Court dismissed the plea, but allowed the petitioner to approach the censor board wherein the board was required to give a response within three weeks. While a representation was filed before the CBFC on November 13th, Joshi has failed to give a response yet.

This becomes the latest in a series of disputes surrounding the release of the period film which was initially scheduled to release on December 1st, 2017.  Repeated protests and threats of violence by several Rajput groups, led by the Karni Sena, stalled the movies’ certification and release alleging that the makers distorted history.  Despite Bhansali repeatedly denying the allegations, it was claimed that the film had a dream sequence between Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. The movie is finally set to release on January 25th with a few changes as per CBFC’s directive, including the change of its name from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’.

Sources: Scroll, Times Now

Anurag Kashyap to conduct censorship workshop in Melbourne

Anurag Kashyap, one of India’s most celebrated filmmakers, has been invited to conduct a master class on censorship in Melbourne, Australia to students and cinema buffs alike.

The master class, which is to take place between August 11 – August 21, will be a part of the upcoming Indian Film Festival in Melbourne, and is expected to host other eminent personalities like Rishi Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Richa Chaddha and Fawad Khan, reported the Indian Express.

In a statement given to the Indian Express, Anurag Kashyap said, “I can put forth my point of view and talk about how censorship is so pointless in the day and age of the internet. I am excited as this is my first time there and I am really looking forward to interacting with the students.”

Anurag was recently embroiled in a controversy  around uproar surrounding his last release, ‘Udta Punjab’ that ended in a  tussle with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The CBFC, headed by Pahlaj Nihalani had initially instructed a large number of cuts in the film citing obscenity and defamation. Anurag resorted to legal aid, by approaching the Court, which ruled in his favour and the film was passed with just one cut.

Sources: Indiatimes.com  TOI

HC paves way for screening of documentary on Kashmir violence

During a time when the subject of Kashmir and violence in the area is being highlighted the Delhi High Court cleared the screening of a documentary about Kashmir which was tagged as anti-national by the government.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath clarified that the documentary has statements of people from interviews which are purely personal and cannot be counted as anti-national and  demoralizing the security forces.

The HC cited Supreme Court’s remarks that, “Freedom of expression, which is legitimate and constitutionally protected, cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group of people… open criticism of government policies and operations is not a ground for restricting expression.” This judgement led to the screening of the film without any cuts and was also given a “U” certificate for public viewing.

The High Court also appreciated that the Director Pankaj Butalia had no disagreement in adding a disclaimer in the beginning of the documentary which is named “Texture of loss”

The panel of judges replied to the appeal made by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) saying, though Kashmir is a sensitive topic the documentary did not show any objectionable material. The bench also observed that the documentary film which is about 61 minutes approximately encompassed interviews and case studies of people who were affected by the violence in the Valley.


Source: TOI  The Tribune

Image Source: The Hindu