Former CBFC Chief Pahlaj Nihalani gets legal notice from Babumoshai Bandookbaaz makers
A wise man once said: "As you sow, so shall you reap." This old dictum states exactly the condition of the former chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Pahlaj Nihalani. Ever since he took office in January 2015, Nihalani has been mired in one or the other controversy around the films' certification (read censorship) process, until he was sacked from his post earlier this month.
One such film that had to face the wrath of Nihalani is Nawazuddin Siddiqui's latest release, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. Although the film was cleared by the FCAT with some minor cuts, the makers had to go through hell when Nihalani's sanskaari dictatorship declared 48 cuts in the film.
Now, according to a report by Bombay Times, the makers have sent a legal notice to Nihalani for his irrational attitude and "high-handedness". The makers claim that he tried to "sabotage" the film.
The report states that Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, who represents the makers of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, has filed an RTI seeking details of all the complaints registered by filmmakers who had to face Nihalani's wrath in his 2.5 year-long tenure.
Speaking to Bombay Times, Siddiquee said, "I filed RTI queries on behalf of several of my showbiz clients. It wasn't timed to clash with the release of Kushan (Nandy)'s film, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. We're doing this now because he needs to be answerable for his high-handedness. Also, I am not clear about what led to his exit. I sent him a legal notice because he made false claims that my clients showed two different copies of their film to the CBFC and the Tribunal. We want him to clarify and apologise. If he doesn't, we will figure out the next course of action."
Babumoshai Bandookbaaz also stars Bidita Bag, Divya Dutta, Jatin Goswami, Shraddha Das, Anil George, Bhagwan Tiwari, Murli Sharma, Jitu Shivhare and Navin Tyagi and is directed by Kushan Nandy. It released on 25 August.