SC allows conditional screening of 'Sada Haq'

Indo Asian News Service
26 April 2013

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday gave conditional clearance for the screening of the controversial film "Sada Haq" which was banned in Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi for allegedly for glorifying the extremism in Punjab in the 1980s.

A bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh said that the controversial promotional song of the film would not be linked with it any way.

The court also asked the Central Board of Film Certification to consider the recommendation of the four member committee of eminent lawyers that the universal ('U') screening certificate of the film be changed to adult screening certificate ('A').

Noting that except for Delhi, Punjab and Chadigarh, the film was being screened all over the country, the court asked the CBFC to decided on the recommendation of the committee by Monday.

Senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing petitioner Vital Media, the producer of the film, consented to recommendation of the committee to change the certification from 'U' to 'A'.

The apex court Thursday had constituted a committee comprising senior counsel Fali Nariman, Rajiv Dhawan, Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaisinh and counsel Rebecca John to see the film and make recommendation to the court. The committee, while clearing the film for screening, recommended that its universal screening certificate be changed to screening for adults only.

The film, depicting the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Punjab militancy and police brutalities was to be screened April 5, 2013 but was banned on April 4, 2013, by the Punjab and Delhi government and the Chandigarh administration.

The producer of the film had contended that after the film had been cleared by the CBFC, it could not be banned till it has been screened in cinema hall. It had cited the Aug 19, 2011, order of the apex court, quashing the Uttar Pradesh government's order 'suspending the screening' of film maker Prakash Jha's film "Aarakshan".

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