Makers of Jaswant Singh Khalra Biopic Move High Court

After bringing to the screen stories of national and human interest, including the National Award-winning Uri: The Surgical Strike, Sonchirya, The Sky is Pink, Rashmi Rocket and A Thursday, RSVP Movies is waiting to showcase one more true-life drama. A biopic of a prominent human rights activist, Jaswant Singh Khalra, is produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Abhishek Chaubey and Honey Trehan. Directed by Trehan, and toplined by actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh, the yet-untitled film which is complete and ready for release, has hit an unexpected roadblock.

“The makers have been waiting for censor clearance for the last six months,” informs a source from the industry. “RSVP applied for the censor certificate in December 2022, and it was sent ahead to the review committee. The team shared all the necessary paper work that was requested and went about the process with complete diligence, but with no solution forthcoming from the CBFC, they finally moved the Bombay High Court on Wednesday (June 14).”

Jaswant Singh Khalra was the director of a bank in Amritsar during the militancy period in Punjab who found evidence of abduction, elimination and cremation of thousands of unidentified bodies by the police. They reportedly even killed 2000 of their own officers who refused to collaborate in these extra judicial operations. Khalra’s investigation sparked worldwide protests and led to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concluding that the Punjab police had unlawfully cremated 2097 people in the Tarn Taran district of Punjab alone .

The Supreme Court of India and the National Human Rights Commission have certified the validity of his data.

On September 6, 1995, Khalra himself disappeared. A case of murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy was registered on the complaint of his wife, Paramjit Kaur. Taking strong note of the “heinous crime” committed by four police officers in “eliminating” human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, active in bringing to light extra-judicial killings in the districts of Tarn Taran and Amritsar, the Punjab and Haryana Court, on October 16, 2007, enhanced the sentences of the four accused, former head constable Prithipal Singh and former sub-inspectors Satnam Singh, Surinder Pal Singh and Jasbir Singh from seven years to life imprisonment.

“The Jaswant Singh Khalra case is back in court, this time for a censor certificate. It will come up for hearing on July 4 and Ameet Naik, heads the Khalra biopic legal team,’ adds the source.

Incidentally, the 2016 crime drama was written and directed by Abhishek Chaubey. The Revising Committee of the Censor Board had asked for 89 cuts and all references to Punjab erased. It was later cleared by the Bombay High Court with just one scene edited out and an ‘A’ certificate.

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