Bombay HC seeks affidavits on ‘Santa Banta’ film

Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government, the censor board and the producers to file affidavits over a petition filed against upcoming Bollywood film “Santa Banta Pvt. Ltd.”.

A division bench of Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi posted the matter for further hearing on April 27.

The court direction came after a petition was filed by Punjab Cultural Heritage Board president Charan Singh Sapra and others claiming that the film depicts the Sikh community in poor light and it could pose a threat to public order.

Arguing for the petitioners, advocate B.A. Desai said the film was a mockery of the high principles of the Sikh faith and portrays a community member as “a dumb, unreasonable person who is an obvious idiot”.

The advocates for the film producers said the Central Board of Film Censors has advised reasonable cuts after a review of the film.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the judges directed the respondents to file their affidavits by April 27 when the matter would come up for hearing again.

The forthcoming film has faced legal hurdles elsewhere in the country, including in New Delhi, for its content which the Sikh community has strongly opposed.

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