The Bombay High Court has observed that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has not applied its mind in granting certification for Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela and directed it to re-consider the U/A certificate it has given to the movie.
A division bench of judges VM Kanade and MS Sonak ordered the CBFC to check whether the guidelines of The Cinematograph Act were followed and if there were any violations while granting the certification for the film and complete the process in four weeks.
“Utmost care has to be taken by the CBFC in such cases to ensure that the guidelines are followed,” judges Kanade and Sonak said. “Although the CBFC has said that guidelines were followed, however, in our mind there has been non-application of mind.”
The judges issued the direction on a petition by Sandeep Shukla, a Congress member and vice-president of the Shree Maharashtra Ramleela Mandal, that the movie hurt the sentiment of Hindus.
The movie, made by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, was released in cinemas across the country last month with a modified title, Goliyon Ki Raasleela
Ram-leela, in response to an order by the Delhi High Court following a similar petition.
AP Panday, counsel for the petitioner, stated before the Bombay High Court that the title suggested it had something to do with Lord Ram. However, the movie had nothing to do with Lord Ram and when he watched the film he was hurt by several scenes. He said that even the promos and posters hurt the sentiments of Hindus.
The Shree Maharashtra Ramleela Mandal organises the Ramlila during Navratri every year, at the Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.
Panday pointed out that some portions of the movie showed pictures of Lord Ram, Hanuman and Krishna.
“The lead actor’s character is named Ram and is shown as a drug peddler and womaniser. In one scene Hanuman is shown holding a gun,” he stated.
Akshay Patil, advocate representing Bhansali and producer Kishore Lulla, sought six weeks’ time due to the Christmas vacations. Patil had opposed the petition saying that the petitioner could approach the central government to challenge the certificate issued by the censor board.
Last month, the Bombay High Court had asked producer-director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to file affidavits on a petition seeking change in the name of the film Ram-leela.