On Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam ban, Censor Board says TN A-G allegation baseless

Even as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on Sunday demanded an apology from Tamil Nadu's Advocate-General for calling the certification process a "scam", the ban on Vishwaroopam was lifted in the state, a day after actor-director Kamal Haasan struck a compromise with Muslim groups to end the week-long stand-off.

In a statement, CBFC, Mumbai, under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, said every action taken/ procedure followed by it for Vishwaroopam or any other film has been done in accordance with the Act and rules framed by Parliament.

It asked Advocate-General Navaneetha Krishnan and advocate Sankarasubu to issue an apology for their statements.

The CBFC said, "...the statement of Advocate-General Navaneetha Krishnan calling the certification process a scam is baseless." The statement of advocate Sankarasubu calling the Board members "purchasable commodities" is utterly reprehensible and grossly defamatory, it added.

Meanwhile, District Collectors across Tamil Nadu revoked prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144 of CrPC that banned the film's release. Removing the prohibition would make the writ petition against it filed by filmmaker Kamal Haasan infructuous.

The petitions against the film's release filed by Muslim outfits are expected to be withdrawn on Monday. Once the legal tangles are cleared, only the process of editing the film is left before Vishwaroopam hits the theatre. Kamal has agreed to seven edits, much against his staunch defence of the film.

As opposition by Muslim outfits erupted, the Tamil Nadu government had imposed the ban, citing threat of violence with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa stating that it was not in a position to provide security across all 524 theatres where it was to be screened from January 25.

A government brokered meeting between Haasan and Muslim groups broke the logjam on Saturday, with the actor agreeing to some cuts, including muting some dialogues.

Very soon the attention of the producers and trade pundits would shift to the film's performance in the state. Haasan had earlier said that he expects to earn Rs 350 crore through theatre, DTH, satellite releases and other sundry revenue streams, which would make it one of the highest grosser in the Indian film industry.

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