Posted by Fenil Seta
Bharati Dubey (MID-DAY; July 1, 2017)
Sunny Deol-starrer Mohalla Assi is engulfed in a long-drawn battle against the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). After the CBFC denied certification for the public screening of the film, the team knocked on the doors of the Tribunal in November last year. However, the FCAT ordered the makers to delete a few scenes, after which it would review the movie. The makers moved the Delhi High Court against the FCAT verdict on the film in December last year. While the film has already had 12 hearings, the makers say they will fight this battle to the finish.
The team’s main grouse is that they were caught unaware by the Tribunal’s volte-face regarding certain scenes. Director Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi tells mid-day, “We were told orally by the Tribunal that they would clear the film, provided we put a strong disclaimer. However, when we received the letter from them, it stated that we have to cut six to seven scenes. We were asked to resubmit after deletion of the said scenes.’’
Reiterating the thought, lawyer Shashank Garg, who is representing the makers in court, says, “Initially, we were told that FCAT is considering adding a strong disclaimer; we had unconditionally agreed to that. The FCAT verdict that followed was very surprising as we were not given a chance to argue about the cuts that they ordered later. There was no application of mind in the FCAT order.”
Garg is hopeful that the next hearing, scheduled for July 7, will be in their favour. “Despite 12 hearings, the HC has heard the arguments only partially. The judge has already seen the movie. We hope the matter will be heard properly.”