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Love Story rivals at Thackeray court

Mumbai, Sept. 10: Bal Thackeray sat in judgement today as Manisha Koirala and Shashilal Nair attended court at the Shiv Sena chief’s opulent Bandra residence. The “verdict” has, however, been deferred till September 12, when he will see for himself what the film is all about.

Thackeray will see the movie at a special screening at the Raj Kamal Studios on Thursday.

Nair, director-producer of the controversial movie, Ek Chhotisi Love Story, succeeded in getting an appointment with Thackeray after two earlier attempts had come to naught. But Thackeray’s assent came with a condition: he would meet Nair only if Manisha was also there to present her case, one more time.

After the two-hour meeting, Thackeray is believed to have said the “matter should not be dragged any further and must be resolved amicably at the earliest”. Sena MP Sanjay Nirupam said Nair had been told “it would be better if the objectionable scenes were deleted”.

Nair is ready for whatever the Sena chief decides but only after he sees the “truth”. “After he (Thackeray) watches the film, I will do whatever is asked of me,” Nair said.

Manisha seems to have got her point across, too.. She not only demanded an apology from Nair but also asked for acting fees. “Manisha had agreed to act in the movie without charging a single penny because she considered Nair a friend,” Nirupam said. “But after the mud slinging, she feels that she should be paid. She plans to donate the money for a charitable cause.”

The information and broadcasting ministry today issued notices to Nair and Manisha, adds PTI. Nair said he has received the notice asking him to appear in person on September 13 and explain why the Censor Board’s certificate to his film should not be suspended.

Manisha’s lawyer S. Maneshinde said he had received a notice asking why the certificate should be withdrawn. Maneshinde said he and Manisha would meet the department’s secretary on September 13.

The I&B ministry had referred the matter to the law ministry, which said the government could stop public screening of a Censor Board certified film if it portrayed women indecently.

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