×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Indian Court Lets ‘Punjab’ Fly

In a landmark judgement that will have ramifications on how films are certified in India, the Bombay High Court has overturned the censorship decisions of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and allowed the film “Udta Punjab” (literally Flying Punjab) to release with only one cut.

The Hindi- and Punjabi- language film, directed by Abhishek Chaubey, and starring Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh, looks at drug addiction among youth in the northern Indian state of Punjab.

The CBFC demanded more than 40 cuts. Production companies Phantom Films and Balaji Motion Pictures then applied to a Revising Committee which increased the number of edits required to more than 80. The committee also required for the removal of all references to Punjab by name. That is when Phantom and Balaji moved the Bombay High Court.

On Friday, the court told the CBFC that their job was to certify films and not censor them. On Saturday, CBFC head Pahlaj Nihalani said that the film had been passed with 13 cuts.

On Sunday, India’s minister for information and broadcasting tweeted: “Govt committed to bringing about a perceptible change for better in CBFC v soon; certification only, not censorship.”

And on Monday, the court said, “We have read the script in its entirety to see if the film encourages drugs. We do not find the film questions sovereignty or integrity of India by the names of cities, reference to state or by a signpost.”

“It is not for anybody to interfere unless and until creative freedom is abused,” the court added.

The only cut the court wants is that of a musician urinating onto a crowd at a concert. Release is now confirmed for June 17.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • (from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

    Box Office: 'Hobbs & Shaw' Scores $102 Million Debut in China, Nears $600 Million Globally

    Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” returned to first place on the international box office charts, thanks to a massive $102 million debut in China. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, collected another $120 million overseas, boosting its foreign tally to $441 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” is nearing the $600 million mark [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut

    “Angel Has Fallen,” the third chapter in Lionsgate and Millenium’s action franchise starring Gerard Butler, had a stronger opening weekend than expected, collecting $21.25 million during its first three days of release. Those ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts, bumping last weekend’s champ, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys,” to second place. Starring [...]

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content