Posted by Fenil Seta
Court-appointed panel watches Jolly LLB 2; to submit report on film's fate on Monday
Vinay Dalvi (MID-DAY; February 4, 2017)
Uncertainty looms over the scheduled release of Akshay Kumar-starrer Jolly LLB 2 this Friday. In a setback to the makers, the Supreme Court has asked them to first approach the Bombay High Court where a petition against the film was filed for allegedly showing the legal profession in poor light.
Advocate Ajay Waghmare filed the petition, referring to certain scenes in the courtroom drama's trailer, and demanded that the word 'LLB' be dropped from the title. The HC then ordered the formation of a three-member panel to look into the matter. Fearing a stay on the release, the makers directly moved the apex court for relief.
Last week, the Aurangabad bench of the High Court had observed that based on the trailer and photos, the movie did seem contemptuous towards the court, but no decision could be taken until the context was clarified.
The producers, Fox Star Studios, were directed to hold a screening on Wednesday for the panel so that it could give its report by Friday.
However, Fox approached the Supreme Court, challenging the HC's move since they had already secured certification from the Censor Board, and the matter was scheduled to come up for hearing yesterday. Senior counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for the studio argued that the movie did not have anything against lawyers or courts of law.
They also expressed interest in showing the film to the apex court, but the judged refused the offer.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court, asked the producers to first argue its case before the Bombay High Court on February 6 and then come back to it the next day.
"If you think as per law you cannot show the movie to the panel, why don't you argue the same before the Bombay High Court," asked Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The SC bench also said that the HC will decide on all pleas while it will give an ear to the matter only if the need arises. The hearing will take place on February 7.
Giving in to the pressure, the producers yesterday showed the film to the panel, which is expected to submit its report to the High Court on Monday.
Despite repeated attempts, the producers remained unavailable for comment at the time of going to press. A source from the production team informs that the makers will take a call on the release date following clarity from the High Court.
- Petitioner filed with Bombay High Court over certain scenes in film — advocates playing cards and dancing in court premises, lead character (Akshay Kumar) jumping on the table before a sitting judge, etc.
- HC orders formation of three-member panel to watch film and give its verdict.
- Makers challenge move in Supreme Court, ask why film must be shown to the panel when Censor Board has already certified it.
- SC tells makers to argue case before HC first and then come back for a hearing.
- Worried producers show film to panel yesterday, wait for report on Monday.