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By Kunal Rao

A plea has been filed in the Delhi High court challenging the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) seeking cuts and insertions in a movie #Metoo so that it can be viewed by the adults in the country.

The petition filed by Sajid Iqbal Qureshi, the producer of the movie, sought the quashing of the order of the (CBFC) passed on November 12, 2018 wherein the censor body directed to carry out several excisions, modifications, insertions in the film following which it could be released with an adult certificate.

The petition, filed through advocate Shilpi Jain, detailed that CBFC has not given any reasonable justification for the change of title of the movie #Metoo on the grounds that the complexity of the #MeToo movement would be misunderstood or compromised if the title is not changed.

However, the decision of the CBFC was “extremely mechanical and arbitrary decision, which was passed without any application of mind”.

“…the #MeToo movement itself on many occasions made a mockery of the crime against women since in most cases the celebrities were being targeted and in fact in many cases the victim made very vague and general allegations without either filing a police complaint or giving the specifics,” the petition contented.

It was also contended that the movie portrays crime against women, and being extremely sensitive to the standards of decency and sobriety, the title of the movie is not only appropriate but justified.

“The #MeToo movement is a global movement that encourages victims to speak about sexual harassment and molestation. It is not to be put in a strait-jacket, narrow analysis of violence against women.  If the title is permitted to be changed, it will lose its essence as the title conveys a very serious social message,” the petition read.

The plea is likely to come up before the bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru.

—India Legal Bureau

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