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CBFC chief Joshi meets Parliament panel to explain Padmavati status

Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali arrives at Parliament House on Thursday. Picture: Prem Singh

New Delhi, Nov. 30 (PTI): CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi appeared before a parliamentary panel on Thursday to brief lawmakers  about the controversy over Padmavati and said the film had not yet been certified for public viewing, sources said.

Joshi, who was scheduled to appear before the parliamentary standing committee on information technology later in the day, told the Lok Sabha Committee on Petitions that the Central Board of Film Certification had cleared only the trailer and promos of the period film based on a Rajput princess.

Sources said the CBFC chief told the panel that a decision on the film would be taken after showing it to experts.

Asked by a member whether as CBFC chief he had seen the film, Joshi is learnt to have replied that he had not.

The Lok Sabha Committee on Petitions had sought a report from the information and broadcasting ministry and the censor board after C.P. Joshi and Om Birla, two Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers from Rajasthan, filed a plea on “objectionable content” in the film before the panel.

The officials, sources said, were of the view controversies are often created for commercial purposes though it was not clear in this case.

The panel had asked the officials for a report before November 30, senior BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who heads the panel, had said earlier.

Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is also expected to appear before the parliamentary panel on IT, which has invited officials from the ministry and the CBFC to discuss the film.

The panel on IT, which also looks into issues concerning the information and broadcasting ministry, has called the meeting to discuss the problems and issues of the film industry, an official said.

Various Rajput groups and political leaders have accused Bhansali of distorting history by using a romantic dream sequence featuring the Rajput queen and Sultan Alauddin Khilji, a claim repeatedly denied by the filmmaker.

Historians are divided over whether Padmini actually existed.

The film, which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh film was was earlier scheduled to release on December 1. The makers have deferred the release till they receive a certificate from the CBFC. They recently applied for 3D certification. 

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