The Delhi High Court has sought a reply from the Censor Board for withholding certification of Sunny Deol-starrer Mohalla Assi.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva yesterday issued a notice to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), seeking a response by February 6 next year. Mohalla Assi is directed by CBFC member Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi. The producers, Crossword Entertainment, have been asked to furnish a CD of the film with the court before the next date of hearing (February 6). The release was put on hold by a Delhi court in June 2015 on the grounds that it hurt religious sentiments.
Crossword, in its plea, has challenged CBFC’s June 14, 2016 order refusing to issue a certificate for exhibiting the film and FCAT’s November 24, 2016 order asking it to make some cuts after which the tribunal would review the movie and reconsider the matter.
Counsel Manish Mohan, who appeared for CBFC and FCAT, defended the decision of the two bodies, adding that affidavits stating their stand would be filed.
The producers contended that the decision were arbitrary and violated the freedom of speech and expression, and that the film depicts social vices and turbulent times that the country is going through.
They have contended that the “film revolves around the cultural degradation that is threatening present day Benaras” and claimed it will not create any law and order problem while also arguing that any deletion of scenes would negate the film’s impact.