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Viswaroopam cleared for screening by Madras High Court

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NEW DELHI: Renowned actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan has received a major relief with the Madras High Court lifting the ban on his film ‘Vishwaroopam‘ which had been imposed by the Tamil Nadu government for allegedly anti-Muslim content.



After a day-long hearing, Justice K Venkataraman passed the orders, paving the way for the screening of the movie reportedly made with a budget of nearly Rs one billion. The judge had personally seen the film on 26 January.



The court also kept in abeyance prohibitory orders imposed by the District Collectors across the state under section 144 of the CrPC.



During the hearing, the Tamil Nadu government questioned the ‘UA‘ certificate issued for the film and alleged that the certification of films itself was a "very big scam" and sought a probe into it by a law enforcing agency.



Advocate General A Navaneethakrishnan said the "UA" certificate to ‘Vishwaroopam‘ was not issued by the Central Board for Film Certification, but only by an Examining Committee not mandated by provisions of the Constitution.



Rejecting the charge, Additional Solicitor General Wilson said the certification was done by procedure. The application for certification came to the Board on 4 October 2012, the film was viewed on 8 October and a show cause notice to cut certain scenes sent on 10 October, he said.



The cuts were accepted and removed and the final certification given on 17 October. Scenes to a running time of 1.08 minutes were cut, he said.



Even at a meeting with the Home Secretary on 23 December last, the Examining Officer said objectionable scenes were deleted from the film, Wilson said.



Interestingly, the film has been released globally and has also been doing well in Karnataka though it is being screened there under heavy security

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