HC asks CBFC to file affidavit on certification to ‘Ram-Leela’
The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to file an affidavit stating if it had followed the guidelines framed under the Cinematograph Act before issuing ‘U/A’ certification to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Ram-Leela’
A division bench of Justices V.M. Kanade and M.S. Sonak was hearing a petition filed by Sandeep Shukla, Congress member and vice president of Shree Maharashtra Ramleela Mandal which has been holding Ramleela every year during Navratri at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.
The petition contends that the film’s name ‘Ram-Leela’ suggests it has something to do with Lord Ram of the epic ‘Ramayana’. However, the movie has nothing to do with Lord Ram and the promos and posters of the movie had hurt sentiments of Hindus.
Shukla’s advocate B. Pandey on Monday argued that the petitioner saw the movie and was hurt with a lot of scenes.
“Throughout the movie, some portions of Ram-Leela is shown along with Lord Ram, Hanuman and Krishna’s photos. The lead actor’s character is named Ram and is shown as a drug peddler and womaniser. In one scene Hanuman is shown holding a gun,” he said.
The court was on Monday informed that under the Cinematograph Act, guidelines have been framed while issuing censor certificate.
“We would like to know from the board (CBFC) if these guidelines were followed prior to issuance of certification to ‘Ram-Leela’,” the court said while directing the CBFC to file their affidavit.
The court also directed Bhansali, co-producer of the movie Krishna Lulla and Eros International to file their reply affidavits to the petition by November 27.
An advocate appearing for Bhansali and Lulla opposed the petition and said the petitioner can approach the central government challenging the certification issued to the movie by the censor board.
The court also sought for the copy of an interim order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court prohibiting release of the movie with the title ‘Ram-Leela’.