Udta Punjab gets the all-clear on all fronts

Punjab and Haryana high court dismisses plea seeking stay on the film’s release.

Mayur Lookhar

The battle is finally over for Udta Punjab, it seems. The last few hurdles in the film's tracks have been cleared.

Shortly after the Supreme Court squashed a plea by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) seeking a stay on the film's release, Udta Punjab was given the green signal by the Punjab and Haryana high court as well.

A few days ago, advocate Wattan Sharma had filed a petition in the high court seeking a stay on the film's release. As reported by CNN News18,  the Punjab Women’s Commission, too, had filed a plea to block the film's release.

On 13 June, Justice M Jeyapaul of the high court ordered the revisional committee of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the producer to screen the film by Tuesday.

The court made it clear that an amicus curiae (literally, friend of the court, an advocate appointed to assist the court) would view the film, along with representatives of the petitioner, the Union of India, the producers, and the revisional committee. 

The amicus curiae was of the view that Udta Punjab in no way glorifies the use of drugs, thereby leading the high court to dismiss the plea seeking a stay on the release.

With the final battle won, Anurag Kashyap and his co-producers on the film can now look forward to releasing it tomorrow as per schedule. They must also be hoping that all the controversies in the run-up to the film's release will translate into increased ticket sales at least on the opening weekend. An industry expert, who did not want to be quoted by name, said the cumulative publicity with front-page coverage was worth at least Rs50 crore at a conservative estimate.

Meanwhile, embarrassed by the alleged leak of the film's print from his office, CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani vowed to help the police find the source of the leak.