Pahlaj Nihalani's Rangeela Raja, which features Govinda in a dual role, will not be able to meet its release date this week.
A still from Rangeela Raja
he Bombay High Court today refused to give any relief to filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani whose film Rangeela Raja was set to be released in three days from now. However, Nihalani has now been asked to approach the court again next week.
The vacation single bench of Justice Riyaz Chagla asked Pahlaj Nihalani why he did not approach the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) or the revising committee.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had asked Nihalani to carry some disclaimers and make some cuts in Rangeela Raja. Only after the cuts would the film get a certificate and cleared for release.
Nihalani's lawyer Ashok Saraogi told the court that there was no time as the CBFC committee had taken 40 days to even view the film and the revising committee would take many more days to view it and pass an order.
Lawyer Advait Sethna, respresenting the CBFC, countered this, saying that it was a mischievous petition as there is not one but three places where Nihalani could have challenged the cuts instead of coming to the high court. Sethna added, "Nihalani is the ex-CBFC chief who had himself ordered cuts for the film Udta Punjab and it was in his regime that maximum cuts were given to films. He should know all this."
Sethna said that Nihalani could have approached when he was told to, on November 2. He added that Nihalani was only making an off-the-cuff allegation against the current chairman and saying that he is not available even though he is very much there.
Sethna went on to say that the content of the film is such that it can only be certified as an adult film but the makers are insisting that they want a U/A certificate (where even children can watch under adult guidance).
The court got perturbed by the fact that Nihalani had alleged that the chairman is unavailable and that the appellate authorities are on vacation, while the CBFC affidavit stated that they did not have "the luxury of a holiday".
Justice Chagla said that the court would look into the issue after the vacation. The high court is currently on a Diwali vacation, with only two judges sitting for urgent hearings. He asked Nihalani to approach the court on November 19, when the vacation ends.
Nihalani said, "We will have to suffer losses of about Rs 10-12 crore. We will see what we can do about that, ask for compensation later. But right now, we have to get the certificate issue sorted."