New Delhi: Ashoke Pandit, CBFC member, has accused Pahlaj Nihalani of illegally withholding Emran Hashmi starrer ‘Mr. X' even after it was cleared by the CBFC.
Ashoke Pandit made these accusations against CBFC chief in a series of tweets on Saturday.
“Finally Mukesh & @MaheshNBhatt get their Censor Certificate which was cleared bt illegally withheld by the Chairman. #MrX #Anarchist,” Pandit's first tweet read.
He called Nihalani an anarchist for his style of functioning.
Ashok Pandit, a director and producer himself, said that the film could only be cleared with the help of CEO Dr Shravan Kumar and board member Dr. ChandraPrakash Dwivedi. Pandit tweeted, “Thank you @Dr_ShravanKumar CEO & Dr. ChandraPrakash Dwivedi for your support in clearing @MaheshNBhatt & Mukesh Bhatt's Mr.X. #CBFC.”
Pandit claimed that the delay caused Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt (producers of Mr X) a loss of Rs 60 lakh. “Mukesh Bhatt & @MaheshNBhatt lose 60 lacs due to the unnecessary delay of their film by the Chairman of #CBFC. Sad,” he tweeted.
This was not the first voice of dissent by Pandit against Nihalani. Last month, in a blog titled "Tyranny Gone Loose in CBFC", Mr Pandit called Mr Nihalani an "archaic monarch" who treated the Central Board of Film Certification as his "personal fiefdom."
Nihalani last month introduced a list of 28 cuss words he intended to ban from the films. Although the list was put on hold, Nihalani has used his position to force the filmmakers to implement the list unofficially. Last month, a paper was leaked that revealed how the dialogues were changed of Ayushman Khurana starrer ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha'.
Board member Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi had written a strongly-worded letter to him over the edits ordered in actor Anushka Sharma's film NH10.
The film fraternity has also accused Mr Nihalani of "moral policing, " with filmmakers like Vishal Bhardwaj accusing the censor board of behaving like the Taliban and saying that the body should be "chopped off."
A delegation of actors, directors and producers from Bollywood met Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, last month to complain about Nihalani. Rathore clarified that the job of the Central Board of Film Certification or CBFC was to certify and not censor.
Nihalani took over as head of the Board in January after Leela Samson resigned amid allegations of government interference in the clearing of films.