The Delhi High Court gave its green signal to the release of John Abraham-starrer Batla House on August 15 after the producers agreed to make certain changes.
The order was passed by a single judge bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru in a petition filed by the two accused persons in the Batla House encounter operation conducted in September 2008 in Batla House locality in Jamia Nagar, Delhi. While the trial against one is pending in the Delhi HC, the other accused’s appeal against the conviction is also pending.
After Batla House producers agreed to make changes in the disclaimer and modify/delete scenes that were objected to by petitioners, who were afforded the opportunity to watch the film last week, the HC disposed of the plea.
The Court directed the makers of the film to carry out certain modifications so as to ensure that the petitioners have a fair trial.
Here is a list of modifications that the High Court asked Batla House makers to make, as quoted by Bar and Bench.
A disclaimer shall be played before the film begins, clarifying that the film is inspired by Delhi Police and other documents/details of events available in the public domain. It is further to be clarified that the movie is not a documentary but a work of fiction. The disclaimer shall also clarify that the film respects the process of fair trial and does not intend to interfere in the administration of justice by discrediting anyone.
The scene depicting the confession of one of the characters shall be deleted.
The bomb-making scene shall be completely deleted.
The word “mujahideen” shall be muted in the scene pertaining to the confession of one of the characters.
A disclaimer shall be inserted to clarify that the filmmakers do not endorse the views of either of the sides i.e. the Delhi Police and the accused in the film.
The last scene showing the actual photo of the Delhi Police officer who spearheaded the operation shall also be deleted.
The petition also stated that movie’s poster and promotional videos claimed that the sequence of event in the movie were inspired by true events, which created the impression that the film depicted true account of Batla House encounter, thereby “likely to cause prejudice to the trial and appeal,” reported Bar and Bench.
However, makers defended their material by stating that approximately 85 minutes of Batla House was dedicated to the personal life of the protagonist apart from making an honest attempt to show both sides of the picture; Delhi Police and those of the accused.
Directed by Nikkhil Advani, Batla House is inspired by the alleged police encounter in Delhi in the wake of the 2008 serial blasts. John Abraham is essaying the role of DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, who spearheaded the operation.
Batla House also features Mrunal Thakur and Ravi Kishan, and will clash at the box office with Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal.