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Film on Kashmir was shown in 4 festivals w/o cuts: HC told

Delhi high court

New Delhi: The producer of a documentary on Kashmir violence today told the Delhi High Court that censor board was asking him to delete some scenes before certifying it for public viewing, even though it has been shown in four film festivals with official permission without a single cut.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath refused to pass any interim order, saying the matter required consideration and listed it for hearing on August 13.

The bench was hearing a plea of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) challenging an order by a single judge of the High Court directing it to issue a certificate to the documentary ‘Textures of Loss’ for public screening without any cuts.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the documentary producer Pankaj Butalia, said the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had given one-time exemption to screen the movie without cuts four times at various film festivals.

He said the film was screened without any cut in Delhi at the India International Centre in March 2013 and India Habitat Centre in April 2013.

Apart from this, the documentary was also shown at the Ladakh International Film Festival in Leh in 2013 and the Naukuchiataal Film Festival in March this year, he said.

“On all these occasions, my film which still does not have a censorship certificate, could only have been screened on the basis of ‘one time censorship exemption’ granted by the I&B Ministry,” Butalia has said in an affidavit before the court.

Despite that, the censor board was not giving it a certificate for public viewing without deletions, Butalia’s counsel said.

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