Censor vs Court? CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani fumes on 'Jolly LLB 2' row: We know how to do our job
Despite Censor Board clearance, HC instructs Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Jolly LLB 2' makers to delete scenes disparaging of judiciary; CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani reacts to the judgement
Annu Kapoor in a still from the film
The makers of Jolly LLB 2 on Monday were ordered to delete four 'objectionable scenes' from the courtroom drama after a three-member panel appointed by the High Court agreed that it 'showed lawyers in poor light'.
In its report, the panel suggested four cuts, including the scene where the protagonist (Akshay Kumar), who plays a lawyer, is seen jumping on the dais. He then signals his client to throw a shoe at the judge and a dialogue follows: 'Kya akal ladaai hai'.
Akshay Kumar in 'Jolly LLB 2'
The makers, represented by senior counsel Ravi Kadam, submitted an affidavit filed by director Subhash Kapoor, who agreed to delete all 'objectionable' scenes. The court directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to immediately issue a fresh certificate to the movie after the cuts were effected.
The real courtroom drama 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 demanded that the word 'LLB' be dropped from the title.
The High Court ordered the formation of a three-member panel to study the 'objections'. Fearing a stay on the release (scheduled this Friday), the makers challenged the HC's decision in the Supreme Court.
The apex court, however, asked the producers to first argue its case before the HC on February 6 and come back to it the following day.
Snip it out, says the court
> A scared judge (Saurabh Shukla) hiding behind his chair
> Akshay Kumar, who plays a lawyer, seen jumping on the dais and a shoe being hurled at the judge
> The other two scenes consist of objectionable signalling and dialogue during an argument in court
Makers' plan of action
At the HC, the makers undertook to do the following:
> Delete the 'jumping on dais' scene, keeping the dialogue between only the lawyer (Akshay) and the judge intact
> Remove the signalling scene (Akshay gesturing client to throw his shoe at the judge)
> New scene to show disgruntled litigant venting frustration
> Director promises to delete anything that is objectionable
> Supreme Court to hear the matter today
> Cast and makers to address media in Delhi today
'Haven't read verdict, it is really sad'
'Since I'm travelling, I haven't had the chance to read the court's verdict yet. But it's really sad, because ultimately, it is the producer, director and the cast who are going to suffer for no fault of theirs. The Censor Board has already certified the film. If the High Court has taken some step to ask for amendments or stop the film, then there is really a conflict of interest between competent authorities — the Law Ministry, (court), and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. I am sure there is some kind of communication gap when it comes to laying down rules. But we all have the right to know [question] on what basis the judgment was passed, and how the film is an insult to the court and lawyers'
Annu Kapoor, who plays an advocate in the film
'Don't see why there is an issue'
'We are a responsible body and know how to do our job. We wouldn't have cleared the movie if we felt their intention was to disrespect anybody. It is a work of fiction, not a documentary, and made for the sake for entertainment. I don't see why there is an issue if the film runs a disclaimer at the beginning'
Pahlaj Nihalani, chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification
'I feel one with the makers'
'Filmmaking is such a difficult task and the added pressure of appeasing every segment of society makes creative people claustrophobic. I feel one with the makers, who are facing this turmoil. I doubt there is an element of controversy in this film, but people still find ways of saying 'Ye cut karo, ye mat bolo'. Can directors have freedom of expression, please?'
Manish Gupta, director of Rahasya