CONTEMPT of court petition or legal notice to ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I and B) is not big deal for Leela Samson, chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Samson also suggests that these issues are not even news material.
On February 19, I and B ministry issued a notice (copy available with ABI) to director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, producer Kishore Lulla, secretary CBFC and others for appearing before them on February 21st , in chamber of joint secretary (film), I and B, ministry. There is also a petition of contempt hearing on February 21 in Bombay High Court against Leela Samson, Dr BK Vishwas, secretary Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal, Lalit Bhasin Chairperson Film Certification Appellate Tribunal and Manish Tiwari, minister Information and Broadcasting, New Delhi.
On February 20, this reporter called up Rakesh Kumar CEO of CBFC to get his side of the story but he not respond to our calls despite repeated attempts. Later this reporter called to Samson informing about contempt petition and legal notice of I and B. Samson said, “I am aware about contempt petition and I and B notice. This is not big matter. Aisa toh hota rahta hai. We will see in court. Samson also told this reporter that this is not a news material.”
Sandeep Ram Milan Shukla, the Congress leader and vice president of Shree Maharashtra Ramleela Mandal has filed contempt petition against Samson, Dr BK Vishwas, secretary Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), Lalit Bhasin Chairperson, FCAT and Manish Tiwari, Minister I and B, New Delhi. These authorities are accused of ignoring Bombay High Court’s order to appearing in court for filing their say. The Bombay High Court had directed to the CBFC to file an affidavit stating if it had followed the guidelines framed under the Cinematograph Act before issuing ‘U/A’ certification ad to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Ram-Leela’.
Earlier Shukla has filed the petition alleging that the film’s name ‘Ram-Leela’ suggests it has something to do with Lord Ram of the epic ‘Ramayana’. But the movie has nothing to do with Lord Ram. Shukla had demanded to change the name of the movie. “The promos and posters of the movie had hurt sentiments of Hindus,” said Shukla.
Later, Shukla’s advocate B P Pandey told to the court that the petitioner (Shukla) saw the movie and was hurt with a lot of scenes. “Some scenes of Ramleela is shown along with Lord Ram, Hanuman and Krishna’s photos. “I was much shocked to see the movie. The lead actor’s character is named Ram. But he is shown as a drug peddler and womaniser. In one scene Hanuman is shown holding a gun,” said Shukla.
Pandey informed to the court that they would like to know from the board (CBFC) if guidelines were followed before issuing the certificate to ‘Ram-Leela’.” On that petition the court had directed to the CBFC to file their affidavit/say. The court had also directed to Bhansali, co-producer and director, Krishna Lulla and Eros International to file their reply/affidavits till November 27 but all of them ignored court’s order and failed to file their say. Upset with CBFC’s official’s attitudes on February 4 Shukla filed contempt of court petition mentioning Tiwari’s name.
“We will put before court’s knowledge of Samson’s statement,” said Shukla.
After repeated attempts Bhansali was not available for comment. He also not respondent our text SMSes.