New Delhi: Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi today appeared before a parliamentary panel to brief members about the controversy over “Padmavati” and said the film had not yet been approved, sources said.
Joshi, who is also scheduled to appear before the parliamentary standing committee on IT later in the day, told the Lok Sabha Committee on Petitions that the censor board had only cleared the trailer and promos of the period film.
Sources said the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief told the panel that a decision on the film would be taken after showing it to experts.
Asked by a member whether as censor board chief he had seen the film, Joshi is learnt to have replied that he hadn’t.
The Lok Sabha Committee on Petitions had sought a report from the information and broadcasting ministry and the censor board after C P Joshi and Om Birla, two BJP MPs from Rajasthan, filed a plea on “objectionable content” in the film before the panel.
The officials, sources said, were of the view controversies are often created for commercial purposes though it was not clear in this case.
The panel had asked the officials for a report before November 30, senior BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who heads the panel, had said earlier.
“Padmavati” director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is also expected to appear before the parliamentary panel on IT, which too has invited officials from the ministry and the censor board to discuss the film.
The panel on IT, which also looks into issues concerning the information and broadcasting ministry, has called the meeting to discuss the problems and issues of the film industry, an official said.
Various Rajput groups and political leaders have accused Bhansali of distorting history in the movie by using a romantic dream sequence between the Rajput queen Padmini and Sultan Alauddin Khilji, a claim repeatedly denied by the filmmaker.
Historians are divided over whether Padmini actually existed.
The Deepika Padukone-Shahid Kapoor-Ranveer Singh film was was earlier scheduled to release on December 1. The makers have deferred the release till they receive a certificate from the CBFC. They recently applied for 3D certification.