Pahlaj Nihalani has rejected any role in the leak of ‘Udta Punjab‘ on the internet and said the person responsible has already been identified. Nihalani was also criticized for mentioning the High Court in the film’s certification in place of the person who typically passes a film.
Pahlaj Nihalani said, “The person responsible has already been identified and the leak will be tracked down. We will cooperate if we are approached as part of the investigation”. However, he failed to reveal the lawbreaker’s identity.
Nihalani told Indian Express, “Only the Bhatt camp, the Anurag Kashyap camp and a few other art filmmakers do this. Anurag and the Bhatts have always faced trouble with their films, starting from their debuts, a time when I wasn’t heading the CBFC. They are habitual of taking on the censors and use it as a publicity stunt.”
Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani on Friday also congratulated the team of “Udta Punjab” for the release of the drug-themed film. Pahlaj said he hopes that the Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab which hit theaters today, does well at the box office.
Investigators said they have obtained “some leads” in the Udta Punjab Leak in the center of a debate on creative freedom of filmmakers.
The film’s producers tried to rescue the situation by requesting people to stop viewing or sharing the pirated copy and getting it removed from the torrent websites. Only the film’s box office collection will reveal how much damage was actually done.
The Bombay High Court on June 13 cleared the decks for the release of the film with only one cut, a scene in which Kapoor is urinating, while the Punjab government said they had no objection to the movie’s release. The court 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.
The Supreme Court also refused to entertain an NGO’s plea seeking a stay on the release of film, and asked it to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is seized of the matter. On Thursday, the NGO moved the Supreme Court to stall the screening of the film, while another plea by it 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 Punjab in a “bad light”.
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