HC dismisses pleas against ‘Udta Punjab’ release

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Chandigarh, June 16 (IANS) Clearing desks for the release of “Udta Punjab”, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday dismissed a bunch of petitions seeking a stay on it.

Justice M. Jeyapaul dismissed the petitions, moved by advocate Wattan Sharma and others, claiming poor projection of Punjab and its people in the film slated to be released countrywide on Friday.

The vacation judge’s order came after amicus curiae Sujay Kantawala apprised the court that the film did not glorify the use of drugs or narcotics, there was nothing objectionable to Punjabis in it and it even did not portray them in bad light.

“In my view the film doesn’t in any manner glorify usage of drugs or narcotic substances or contain anything which can be construed to indicate or said to have the possible effect of luring any person or persons towards using drugs,” he said in his four-page report.

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Kantawala also said he didn’t concur with the contention of the petitioner that the film portrays Punjab and the Punjabis in a poor light.

“The film has to been seen as a whole and now will be seen by an adult audience who are capable to appreciate the issues conveyed by the film,” he said.

Praising “Udta Punjab”, he said it was a modern themed film.

“The film in my view does not in fact seek to make a comment on any particular state…rather the viewer is likely to empathize with the message the filmmaker seeks to convey,” the amicus curiae said. “The film does not advocate drug usage nor does idolise persons who use drugs,” he added.

Earlier, the amicus curiae was directed by the court to submit his report on Thursday with a focus on the film’s content so that the court could take a call that whether it was fit for public exhibition or not.

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The high court had also ordered the revisional committee of the Central Board of Film Certification and the producer to screen the film by Tuesday.



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