Delhi HC directs CBFC to grant 'A' certificate to controversial film Mohalla Assi
The Delhi HC has asked the CBFC to award an 'A' certificate to Mohalla Assi within a week and quash nine of the 10 cuts proposed by the Board
Decks have been cleared for Bollywood satirical film Mohalla Assi, starring Sunny Deol, to hit the screens, with the Delhi High Court directing the Censor Board to award an 'A' certificate to it within a week and quashing nine of the 10 cuts proposed by the Board.
The directions came as Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva was hearing a petition filed by Crossword Entertainment Private Limited, challenging an order passed in November last year by the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), wherein the movie had been denied certificate for exhibition.
The release of the film was put on hold by a Delhi court on 30 June, 2015 on the prima facie view that it hurt religious sentiments.
Crossword in its plea has challenged Central Board of Film Certification's (CBFC) 14 June, 2016 order refusing to issue a certificate for exhibiting the film and FCAT's November 24, 2016 order asking it to make 10 cuts in the movie after which the tribunal would review it and reconsider the matter.
The movie is based on popular Hindi novel, Kashi Ka Assi, and the film "revolves around the cultural degradation that is threatening present day Banaras and claimed that it will not create any law and order problem," the plea has said.
The court, at the outset, referred to several judicial precedents to examine the legal position with regard to certification of films, keeping in view the dynamics of the society and the reasonable restrictions on the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression.
"The film Mohalla Assi is directed to be certified accordingly as restricted in its exhibition to the adult audience. The Respondent shall issue the 'A' certificate within a period of one week," the court said.
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