‘Udta Punjab’ all set to hit silver screens tomorrow

Chandigarh/New Delhi : With the Supreme Court already clearing the deck for the release of ‘Udta Punjab’, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday also dismissed a petition seeking a stay on the release of the film on Friday.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, counsel for filmmakers Sanjay Kaushik said, “After examining the entire movie, the court took a decision that the film would be released tomorrow (on Friday) and dismissed the petition.”

“The court observed that there is nothing in the movie that shows Punjab in bad light or says anything against ‘Punjabiyat’ or lowers Punjab’s image,” said the counsel.

The court said the movie does not glorify drugs in Punjab, he said.

On a question of portrayal of women in Punjab, the counsel said, “The film doesn’t speak anything about Punjab’s women. This is absolutely wrong. The only woman shown in the movie is a doctor, who is working for the rehabilitation of addicts.”

When asked about abusive language used in the movie, the counsel said, “When you are making a film on drug addicts and in order to make the character more realistic, if there was the use of abusive language, then I would say it was in the context of the movie. And that is why producers have also applied for ‘A’ certificate, which was given ultimately.

The SC refused to hear a plea filed by a Punjab-based NGO to put a stay on the release of the film and directed it to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court, where the concerned petition is pending.

The apex court after being informed that a similar matter is being heard by the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the petitioners to wait for the verdict.

A vacation bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and L. Nageswara Rao said drugs addiction is not limited to just Punjab, but other parts of the country including the north-east. The apex court asked the NGO as to how it was affected by the film when neither the censor board nor the Punjab Government appealed against the Bombay High Court’s order.

The NGO named Human Rights Awareness Association sought an urgent hearing, but the apex court said that it would hear the matter only after the petition was cleared by the court registry.

The Bombay High Court had on June 13 cleared the release of ‘ Udta Punjab’, whose makers were locked in a dispute with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The CBFC yesterday issued a fresh release certificate to ‘ Udta Punjab’ after the Bombay High Court passed the film with just one cut and three disclaimers.

The Censor Board gave an ‘A’ certificate to the film citing that the movie is suitable for exhibition, but only for adults.

The film was scheduled for release across 8,000 screens countrywide on Friday. (ANI)