The Bombay High Court heard the plea by Phantom Films, co-producers of Udta Punjab, against the Central Bureau of Film Certification’s refusal to grant the film an ‘A’ certificate before its scheduled 17 June release, unless the team agreed to make certain cuts.
Among the cuts imposed by the CBFC’s review committee are: the removal of all references to the state of Punjab, its cities (Chandigarh, Jalandhar et al) and visuals of Shahid Kapoor urinating, characters using drugs etc. (For more details on the cuts, read this list by Firstpost.)
Phantom Films approached the Bombay High Court stating that they had not received the list of cuts that the CBFC was seeking, before passing it.
However, the film’s team was then given this information by the review committee — a mere two hours before the planned High Court hearing on Wednesday, 8 June.
The Udta Punjab team was then granted some time by the bench to decide on their course of action, and the hearing was adjourned to Thursday.
The court, on Thursday, seemed to take a strict view of the cuts asked for by the CBFC.
"Are you suggesting that the movie only depicts Punjab as only a drug capital? Goa has always been depicted in a bad light (in films)... We will ensure that the film (Udta Punjab) denounces drugs. How can you say delete words like MP, MLA, election? Remember a movie called Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar?" the HC asked the CBFC.
The hearing was then adjourned and will be resumed on Friday, 10 June.