Releasing Bollywood films is not always a cake-walk especially when the film needs to be released in theatres across the country. Besides dealing with censorship, sometimes filmmakers also have to deal with the backlash from political groups that often lead to court cases. Here is a list of petitions/ pleas filed against films and how the filmmakers dealt with them.
Starring Raj Kumar Rao in the lead role, the film deals with the story of a government clerk who was sent for poll duty in the Naxal-hit area of Chhattisgarh. It was India’s official entry for the Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film category in 2017. The defamation suit and the complaint was filed for allegedly portraying the Central Reserve Police Force in poor light before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Arora. The complaint against Manish Mundra, producer of the movie, and Shiladitya Bora, the CEO of production company Drishyam Films sought an unconditional public apology and compensation to the complainant, a soldier, and the CRPF.
2. Article 15
A Plea was filed against Article 15 claiming that the film contained casteist slur and that it was a fictional story claiming to be true. A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde at The Supreme Court of India rejected the plea citing that the petitioner should instead approach the appropriate authority and then the petition never saw the light of the day.
3. Udta Punjab
Udta Punjab (2010) faced initial friction when the Certificate Board (CBFC) suggested cuts across 13 categories in the film. Besides this, there were rampant protests across northern India and subsequently, a batch of petitions started pouring in. Complaints to the Punjab and Haryana High Court alleged that the movie shows Punjab in a bad light and promotes the usage of drugs. It took a while to clear all these tensions for Udta Punjab. The Bombay High Court ruled in favour of the film after an amicus curiae appointed by the Court watched the movie in the presence of the CBFC officials and producers of the film. The division bench of the Bombay High Court allowed 1 cut and also slammed the Board for imposing cuts without reason on films.
Knockout released back in 2010. Twentieth Century Fox filed a case of copyright infringement against the makers of the film. They claimed that it was a complete rip-off of the film Phone Booth. An argument that was tough to argue against considering the plot was, indeed heavily inspired by the latter. Eventually, the parties came to an out of court settlement and Sohail Maklai, the producer, paid Fox an amount of 1.25 Crore.
After director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika Padukone received death threats, states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Haryana disallowed the screening of the film. The film also had a run-in with the certificate board. Eventually, Viacom 18 approached the Supreme Court for the film, and it was permitted to be released across India.
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