Person responsible for the leak has been identified, says Pahlaj Nihalani

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Pahalaj Nihalani and Anurag Kashyap

Local Press Co 5-point Snippet

1. The controversy surrounding ‘Udta Punjab’ has failed to subside even after the High Court’s ruling and the film’s release.

2. The film was shrouded in controversy ever since it was sent to the CBFC for certification. After the censor board demanded 89 cuts in the film, the makers decided to move Bombay High Court instead of giving in to it’s dictat. Finally, the makers got some respite as the court cleared the film with just one cut.

3. After the court order, the entire team went into overdrive to ensure that they are able to meet the film’s Friday release. But, the unthinkable happened on Wednesday when a copy of the film made it’s way to torrent sites. Although the film’s producers tried to salvage the situation by requesting people to refrain from viewing or sharing the pirated copy and getting it removed from the torrent websites, only the film’s box office collection will reveal how much damage was actually done. Meanwhile, the film’s producers also filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime cell to ensure the culprit is brought to justice.

4. Since the pirated copy carried a ‘Censor’ watermark, many believed that it was the handiwork of the CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani, who was defeated in the court case. Responding to the allegations leveled against him, CBFC chairperson said, “The person responsible has already been identified and the leak will be tracked down. We will cooperate if we are approached as part of the investigation”. However, he failed to reveal the culprit’s identity.

5. Nihalani was also criticized for mentioning the ‘Hon’ble High Court, Mumbai’ in the film’s certification in place of the person who typically passes a film. But, the board chief clarified that as per norms, the name of whoever clears the film is mentioned on the certificate. When asked to comment on why filmmakers ‘in general’ have a problem with him, Pahlani told Indian Express, “Only the Bhatt camp, the Anurag Kashyap camp and a few other art filmmakers do this. Anurag and the Bhatts have always faced trouble with their films, starting from their debuts, a time when I wasn’t heading the CBFC. They are habitual of taking on the censors and use it as a publicity stunt.”

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