In a strange turn of events, former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani has approached the Bombay high court for help after the board suggested 20 cuts to his upcoming film, Rangeela Raja.
Nihalani has filed an appeal in the Bombay HC citing its previous judgment against the CBFC in the case of films like Udta Punjab (2016) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017) as points of reference.
Speaking on video later, Nihalani said, “I have filed a writ against the UA with cuts that the CBFC has suggested for my film Rangeela Raja. I hope that the unjustified cuts which have been suggested, I know since I have been a president of the CBFC and also a producer, for all the 25 films I have made, I have never received as many cuts as for this film.
During his tenure as CBFC chairman, Nihalani was accused of ‘censoring’ films himself. Directors like Anurag Kashyap, Alankrita Shrivastava went to the courts in order to help their films get certified without cuts.
Pointing the very same cases as reference, Nihalani said, “I have hope from the court as other films have received favourable sentences against the CBFC, and this was when I had presided over the CBFC and worked under the guidelines that were given to us. But then the court said ‘Only give ratings, cuts are not in your jurisdiction’.
Rangeela Raja features Govinda in a double role, and is set to be released on 16 November.
Accusing current chairperson Prasoon Joshi of using a proxy to rule, Nihalani added, “Prasoon Joshi is neither going to office nor doing anything as CBFC president. The regional officer has become the proxy chairman.”