The Supreme Court today refused to entertain the plea of an NGO seeking stay on the release of the film 'Udta Punjab' and asked it to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court which is 'seized of the matter'.
A vacation bench of justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and L. Nageswara Rao granted liberty to the NGO, Human Rights Awareness Association, to approach the High Court with its plea.
"We are not interfering in the matter. We are not going into the merit. Liberty granted to the petitioner to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court which is seized of the matter," the bench said.
The NGO had yesterday moved the Supreme Court by challenging the High Court's order and demanded to stall the screening of the film. Another plea had prompted the Delhi High Court to direct the producer to modify the promos by adhering to the Bombay High Court order.
The plea filed before the apex court bench sought a direction to restrain the screening of the movie on the ground that it depicted the state of Punjab in a "bad light".
"The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed petition and said there is nothing wrong in Udta Punjab film," Sanjay Kaushal of the Counsel for filmmakers said.
"The Court said the film does not show Punjab in bad light, neither is it anti-women," Sanjay added.
On June 13, the Bombay High Court had cleared the decks for the release of 'Udta Punjab' after ordering deleting of a urination scene and displaying a revised disclaimer as per which the makers would have to delete reference to Pakistan.
The Bombay High Court had also directed the filmmaker to make additions to the disclaimer to the effect that the movie, its characters and the filmmakers do not promote the use of drugs and abusive language, and the film is only attempting to depict the reality of drug abuse.
In the Bombay High Court, Anurag Kashyap's Phantom Films had challenged the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) revising committee's order of June 6 directing for a total of 13 cuts in the movie.
The Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh starrer delves into how a large number of youth in Punjab have succumbed to drugs.
Earlier in the day, a vacation bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and L. Nageswara Rao said it would hear the plea at the end of matters listed for the day.
“We will hear the matter at the end of the board and see if we can entertain the plea in the absence of the June 14 Bombay High Court judgement directing the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to issue an ‘A’ certificate to the film with just one cut,” the bench said.
Appearing for the movie’s producer, Phantom Films, senior counsel Meenakshi Arora said the CBFC had given the certificate and the film was released overseas.
The film will release across 8,000 screens nationwide on Friday, June 17.