Haasan, govt withdraw pleas in HC on Vishwaroopam

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 04, 2013 08:03 hrs
Vishwaroopam row ends with 7 edits

Chennai: Acting swiftly after government lifted the ban on his Tamil movie "Vishwaroopam", Kamal Haasan on Monday withdrew his petition before the Madras High Court challenging the ban, a move that could see the early release of his mega-budget movie.

Justice S Rajeswaran before whom the matter came up allowed the actor and government to withdraw pleas after they expressed their desire to do so following a compromise between Haasan and Muslim outfits, which had opposed it claiming some scenes offended their sentiments.

Clearing the way for screening the movie, the ban on it was lifted by the government yesterday, ending the week long standoff between Haasan and the Muslim outfits. The ban was lifted after the actor agreed to edit sound in seven scenes from the movie.

However, the actor has refused to reveal which scenes of the film will be edited but said a list identifying the audio edits would be sent to the censor board, which would formally declare them. The muting of the seven scenes will be done in the US to ready the film for release in Tamil Nadu.

The film will also carry a prominent disclaimer that it is a work of fiction and does not intend to hurt the feelings of any community.

District Collectors revoked prohibitory orders under which the release was banned on Jan 23 after the outfits came out strongly against the Rs 100 crore movie.

Though there are no indications on when the film will be released, reports said it might hit the screens on February 8.

Haasan had said he would announce the release date after consulting his technical team on the cuts, besides informing the Censor Board.

While a single judge had allowed release, a division bench had upheld the ban and reverted the issue to the former.

Faced with opposition from Muslim outfits, government had imposed the ban citing threat of violence with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa defending the action.

A government brokered meeting between Haasan and Muslim groups broke the logjam on Saturday, with the actor agreeing to some cuts, including muting some dialogues.

The ban had stirred a hornet's nest and the 58-year-old actor had spoken of the trauma of having pledged his house to make the movie and even threatened to go on self-imposed exile to a secular place outside Tamil Nadu or overseas.

The film, made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was originally slated for release on January 11.

Vishwaroopam had also faced trouble first from theatre owners who opposed the tech-savvy actor's move to release the spy thriller on a DTH platform, forcing him to indefinitely put it on hold.

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