If exceptions can be made for politicians to view a movie before its release, why can’t they be made for other classes of society, the Bombay high court asked producers of the soon-to-be-released Hindi film, Aarakshan, on Monday. The court was hearing a petition filed by two Panvel
lawyers challenging the release of Prakash Jha’s film on grounds that the trailers and ads suggest that the film sends an anti-reservation message.
The court’s query came after the petitioner’s lawyer Sangharaj Rupawate claimed that the producers of the movie are planning to have special screenings for some politicians keeping in mind the controversial theme of the film. The court wanted to know if such provisions could be made for a section of society, why couldn’t they be extended to the petitioners.
However, advocate Venkatesh Dhond, appearing for the producer submitted that there is no such plan, but said that he will need to take instructions to confirm the same. The judges have adjourned the hearing till Wednesday to know whether politicians will be given a special screening.
Dhond also stated that the Central Board of Films Certification has informed the court that it has taken ‘unusual’ steps, as per its provisions, to certify the film and even flew in experts and officials from Delhi for their opinion.
The examining committee included persons from various strata of the society to give their opinion about the movie. The committee included a former chief justice Mukul Mudgal, dalit activist and writer Rajni Tilak and chairperson of the board Leela Samson.
The court was told that the film is not even remotely anti-reservation. The petitioner wanted a judicial review into the matter, but the judges stated that the film can be pulled off theaters even after its release.