Pahlaj Nihalani, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), has questioned the Mumbai High Court’s decision to order four cuts from the courtroom drama film Jolly LLB 2. Initially, the CBFC had issued a U/A certificate to the film. However, a court-appointed three-member panel concluded that the film “showed lawyers in poor light” and demanded the cuts.
Nihalani has since commented that the film is, after all, just a film and not a documentary.
“We cannot be over-sensitive about every comment or situation in a film. If certificate is given to a film, it should not be challengeable. After the clearance given to a film, if such things happen, then what is the value of certification?” he said.
The controversy around the film began when a Nanded-based advocate filed a petition with the Bombay High Court, referring to certain scenes in the courtroom drama’s trailer and demanding that the word ‘LLB’ be dropped from the title. The High Court ordered the formation of a three-member panel to study the objections. Considering that the film releases on 10 February, the makers challenged the High Court’s decision in the Supreme Court.
Nihalani’s seemingly liberal comments are in stark contrast with the events around the release of Udta Punjab last year, when the CBFC chief demanded 89 cuts from the film, including the use of ‘Punjab’. Incidentally, the court came to the film’s rescue at that time and allowed only one cut to take place.
Speaking on the drama regarding the Anurag Kashyap-produced film last year, Nihalani said that it was a different case. “In [the] case of Udta Punjab, [the] Mumbai High Court has given a different judgment. They said that the certification body cannot cut the freedom of expression used in the content of the film. We respected the order and cleared the film; otherwise, the film would have several cuts. As per the revising committee decision, first we refused and then passed the film. People have rejected the film and said that CBFC was right on that issue,” he was quoted saying.
Feature Image: Indian Express