NEW DELHI(PTI):Decks for the release of “Udta Punjab” were cleared on Thursday with Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing two petitions filed against the film which was caught in censorship row. The vacation bench of Justice M Jeyapal dismissed the petitions, counsel for the producer said.
“Based on the report submitted today, the high court has taken a decision that the film will be released tomorrow and then dismissed the petitions filed against the release of the movie,” counsel Sanjay Kaushal said.
He said the high court noted that the film did not glorify drugs. “Drug menace can be in any state and the film does not glorify drugs,” said the counsel.
He further said the movie did not portray Punjabi women in bad light in any manner. “There is one Punjabi woman who is a doctor and working for the rehabilitation of drug addicts,” he said.
Amicus curiae advocate Sujoy Kantawala, who watched the movie on the directions of the high court, also presented his report to the bench.
“I have clearly mentioned in my report which was read out in open court that there is absolutely nothing in the film which could lead any such sort of apprehensions which the petitioner entertained. The movie gives the social message that drugs are a menace. If you consume drugs you can lose your loved ones in future and it’s basically a thing you don’t want to do in life. There was no obscenity in the film…”
He said in fact, there is a social message in the movie for adult audience and the message is against drugs. “Drug problem is not just Punjab’s issue but of entire country.”
On June 13, Jalandhar-based advocate Wattan Sharma had submitted that the film slated for release this Friday has portrayed Punjab in bad light. He alleged that the movie had done “negative branding” of Punjab and its people and therefore the film is unfit for exhibition.
A vacation bench of Justice M Jeyapal had directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and producer of the movie to screen the film on June 14 at CBFC’s theatre in Mumbai which would be viewed by the amicus curiae and representatives of the petitioner, central government, CBFC and the producer.
The amicus curiae was directed by the court to submit his report on June 16 focusing on the content of the film so that it could take a decision whether the film was fit for public exhibition.
On Wednesday, another petition was filed by Punjab State Commission for Women Chairperson Paramjit Kaur Landran in the high court alleging that the movie has portrayed women in “obscene manner”.