'Vishwaroopam' ban unacceptable, says censor board chief

Indo Asian News Service
30 January 2013

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Leela Samson is in state of shock after the ban on Kamal Haasan's film "Vishwaroopam", and says that the act is "an infringement on freedom of expression".

"This is hounding of an artist, a man who is an icon of Tamil Nadu. We are sensitive to issues. The group objecting to 'Vishwaroopam' have the freedom not to view it. We will object to the language used by the lawyer representing the Tamil Nadu government against the censor board," Samson told CNN-IBN news channel.

The Madras High Court Tuesday ruled in favour of "Vishwaroopam" and revoked the ban by the state government. It, however, said the administrative step was to be taken by the government. However, in the latest development, a two-judge bench of the high court upheld and re-imposed the ban on the film Wednesday.

"It is absolutely unacceptable. We have certified hundreds and thousands of films but only with 'Vishwaroopam', people find, it has not been done with due diligence? This is an infringement on freedom of expression," Samson added.

The mega-budget film was due to release Jan 25, but the Tamil Nadu government banned the film following fears of law and order situation. The ban was further extended to Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

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