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Bombay High Court Finds Nothing Against Muslim Community in Hamaare Barah

Image Source: indianexpress.com

The Bombay High Court reviewed the movie “Hamare Baarah,” starring Annu Kapoor, on Tuesday and found nothing objectionable that would go against the Quran or the Muslim community. The court observed that the film is aimed at uplifting women and emphasized that the Indian public is discerning and not easily misled.

A division bench of Justices B P Colabawalla and Firdosh Pooniwalla acknowledged that the film’s initial trailer had objectionable content, which has since been removed along with other problematic scenes. They described the movie as thought-provoking and not merely escapist entertainment.

“The movie focuses on empowering women. It portrays a Maulana misinterpreting the Quran, with a Muslim character objecting to this in a scene. This highlights the importance of critical thinking rather than blind adherence to such interpretations,” remarked the High Court.

Several petitions were filed earlier this month seeking a ban on the movie, alleging derogatory content towards the Muslim community and misrepresentation of Quranic teachings. Initially delaying its release, the High Court later allowed it to proceed after the filmmakers assured that objectionable parts had been deleted as per the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) guidelines.

Subsequently, the petitioners approached the Supreme Court, which temporarily stayed the movie’s release and directed the Bombay High Court to review the matter judiciously.

After viewing the edited version of the film, the bench led by Justice Colabawalla stated that it found nothing in the movie that could incite violence. However, they suggested some scenes could still be contentious.

“If all parties agree to remove objectionable parts, they can submit consent terms. We will then issue an order tomorrow allowing the movie’s release,” the bench announced.

The High Court also criticized the filmmakers for releasing the trailer before receiving CBFC certification, stating, “There was a violation regarding the trailer. You will have to pay towards a charity of the petitioners’ choice. This litigation has given the film a lot of unpaid publicity.”

Emphasizing that the movie does not appear likely to incite violence, the court reiterated its caution to the filmmakers about respecting religious sentiments and avoiding controversial dialogues or scenes under the guise of creative freedom.

Regarding concerns raised about the portrayal of domestic violence, the court noted that such issues are not limited to any single community.

Originally scheduled for release on June 7 and then June 14, the fate of “Hamare Baarah” hinges on the agreed removal of objectionable content, pending the court’s final decision.

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