The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to file an affidavit clarifying if all the guidelines were followed while issuing a certificate to film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Ram Leela. The court was hearing a petition seeking a ban on the usage of the word ‘Ram’ in the film’s title, which has allegedly hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus.

The petition has claimed that the CBFC had failed to adhere to the guidelines given in Section 5B of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, while clearing the film.

“I submit that by giving the name to the movie as Ram Leela and showing the main character role by the name of Ram, the picturisation of songs with Lord Rama and his Vanri Sena and showing the main character as womaniser having all the bad habits, doing all illegal things of conducting a video theatre with porn movies is in fact a character assassination of Lord Rama which seriously hurts my belief in Lord Rama and his ideals. Lord Rama is known as Maryada Purushottam [perfect man], having a very dignified character among all the gods. Using the name of Ram that too under the banner of Ram Leela, is nothing but to hurt the feelings of Hindus at large including myself who is a Hindu Brahmin and follower of Lord Rama,” the petition filed by Sandeep Rammilan Shukla stated. The petition has been filed against the CBFC, producer and director of the film, and Eros International.

“The main grievance of the petitioner is that the respondents have intentionally named the feature film as Ram Leela so as to obtain undue publicity and income out of the revenues of the movie, that too at the cost of the religious feelings and sentiments of lakhs of people belonging to the Hindu religion.

The court directed all the respondents to file their affidavits by November 27.