Less than a week before the scheduled release of superstar Akshay Kumar and Huma Qureshi starrer “Jolly LLB 2“, the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad Bench on Monday ordered deletion of four scenes, which it held are defamatory to the judiciary and could amount to contempt of court.
A Division Bench of Justice S.S. Shinde and Justice K.K. Sonawane also ordered the Central Board of Film Certification to certify the film afresh after implementing the cuts in the film.
The order follows a report by a court-appointed three-member committee of experts, comprising Senior Advocates R.N. Dhorde and V.J. Dixit and medico Dr Prakash Kanade, petitioner-lawyer Ajaykumar Waghmare said from Nanded.
The committee viewed the film last Friday in Aurangabad and submitted its two-page report stating that a particular scene is “defamatory to the lawyers’ profession and would be contempt of court”.
They added that the visual or words also involved “defamation of the body of lawyers and undermines the dignity of lawyers and courts”.
After taking the report on record, the judges ordered that the scenes objected to by the committee should be deleted and that the CBFC should re-certify the film, Waghmare said. “This is a historic and significant order concerning any film in the country. It is also a lesson to the CBFC which certified the film during the pendency of the PIL, indicating some malpractices,” Waghmare told IANS.
The scenes ordered to be deleted include the ones in which a judge is shown crouching behind the dias, hurling of a shoe at a judge and an objectionable dialogue.
The lawyers representing the filmmakers agreed to the necessary cuts/modifications.
Following the same, Subhash Kapoor, the film’s director, gave a statement to the court that he will remove/modify these scenes and dialogues.
Both the order and Kapoor’s undertaking follow a plea filed in the HC by a local advocate.
As per Kapoor’s undertaking, “the jumping on and off the dais” will be removed though the “dialogue between the judge and the protagonist will be retained”.
Also, the scene with the shoe hurling will have to be modified. Now, “the modified scene will still show the litigant venting his frustration. However, the shoe will not be thrown directly at the judge, or land on the judge’s table.”
The objectionable signalling and the dialogue that follow, where another lawyer says to the lawyer in question, “Kya akkal ladaai hai,” will have to be snipped because the committee and the court believe that this signifies that the entire court proceeding had been “fixed”.
Incidentally, the plea was filed solely on the basis of the trailer of the movie that had been released for public viewing. Among its many objections, were some scenes that showed lawyers playing cards and dancing in the court premises, thus, “maligning the reputation of the Indian legal profession.”
The producers on the other hand had approached the Supreme Court against the committee’s constitution arguing that they had already been granted a U/A certificate by the CBFC.