Though the Ajay Devgan-starrer ‘Singham Returns’ was a box-office hit, its producers are surely in trouble. The Mumbai unit of CBI has recommended registration of a case against producers of the film on charges of bribing former chief of the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), Rakesh Kumar, reports Indian Express
According to sources, Kumar reportedly “forced” two of his board members to sign blank forms at the screening of the film. The three were part of the screening committee for issuing the CC. The producer of the film, Rohit Shetty, and an authorised agent for the production house, Kishan Palli, were also present at the screening.
The CBI has obtained has obtained the statements of the two board members, who have identified their signatures and alleged they were pressurised by Kumar to sign the blank forms. In his statement to CBI, the agent, Palli, said:
“Kumar repeatedly told Shetty that since the movie was hurting certain religious sentiments, he was under tremendous pressure from the ministry. He suggested certain cuts and certain changes to a few dialogues, but Shetty insisted that all the cuts should not be enforced. Kumar was paid over Rs.2 lakh to get the CC.”
An official with access to the details of the case said:
“When we examined Kumar’s call data records, we did not find a single call from any ministry official who may have sought these changes. Shetty was desperate to get the CC as the film. After Kumar received the (bribe) amount, he issued the CC on August 8. Based on this evidence, we sent a report to register a case against the producer and Kumar as there was enough material.”