The Bombay High Court has permitted the release of the film “Hamare Baarah” after suggesting various changes to the film such as the muting of dialogues including “Allah Hu Akbar” and recitation of Ayat 223, increased duration of disclaimer and message related to Sharia Law, etc.

The Division Bench of Justice B.P. Colabawalla and Justice Firdosh P. Pooniwalla observed, “The Film “HAMARE BAARAH” will be sent/uploaded to the CBFC by the Respondents 1 to 6 after carrying out the aforesaid changes at Paras 2(a) to (e) aforesaid. The CBFC will upon receipt of the application for re-certification of the Film under Rule 31 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 2024, shall forthwith (and in any event no later than 12 Noon on 20 June 2024), grant a fresh certification based on the aforesaid changes…Upon such certification being received from the CBFC, which shall be no later than 12 Noon on 20 June 2024, Respondent Nos. 1 to 6 shall be at liberty and also entitled to forthwith exhibit the Film “HAMARE BAARAH” on all Platforms of their choice.”

Advocates Mayur Khandeparkar and Advocate Fazlurrahman Shaikh appeared for the Petitioner whereas Senior Advocate Rahul Narichania and AGP Kavita N Solunke appeared for the Respondents.

A writ petition was filed by Azhar Basha Tamboli under Article 226 of the Constitution aiming to revoke the certification granted by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and prevent the film's release. The Petitioner had alleged that the movie portrays married Muslim women as lacking individual rights, a portrayal based on an alleged misreading of the Quranic verse "Aayat 223."

The Court watched the film ‘Hamare Baarah’ and heard the parties at considerable length. Consequently, the Court suggested certain changes to be made to the film which all parties had agreed to.

The Court inter alia made the following changes, “The disclaimer which is shown at the inception of the Film will be displayed on screen for a duration of 12 seconds… The message reading “ACCORDING TO THE SHARIA (LAW), MUSLIMS ARE ALLOWED TO PRACTICE POLYGYNY. ACCORDING TO THE QURAN, A MAN MAY HAVE UP TO FOUR LEGAL WIVES ONLY IF THERE IS A FEAR OF BEING UNJUST TO NON-MARRIED ORPHAN GIRLS. EVEN THEN, THE HUSBAND IS REQUIRED TO TREAT ALL WIVES EQUALLY IF A MAN FEARS THAT HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MEET THESE CONDITIONS THEN HE IS NOT ALLOWED MORE THAN ONE WIFE.” together with its Hindi translation will be displayed on screen for a duration of 12 seconds.”

The Court also suggested muting a few dialogues including the words “Allah Hu Akbar” which appears at a specific time in the movie.

Further, the Court also asked the parties to mute the recitation of Ayat 223 which was recited in Arabic language at the inception of the Film.

As regards the teasers/trailers, which have been appearing on social media containing several dialogues, the Court directed to forthwith take them down with immediate effect.

On June 5, 2024, the High Court had issued an interim restraint order against the exhibition, circulation, or public availability of the film "Hamare Baarah” on any public forum or platform.

The petitioners had argued that the film was in “complete contravention” of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and violated constitutional provisions under Articles 19(2) and 25 of the Constitution. They had claimed that the film, particularly its trailer available on YouTube, portrayed married Muslim women as lacking individual rights, a portrayal based on a misreading of the Quranic verse "Aayat 223." This, they had argued, was derogatory to the Islamic faith and the dignity of married Muslim women in India.

Subsequently, on June 7, 2024, the High Court had allowed the release of the movie after the makers of the film volunteered to delete controversial dialogues. The Court had modified its earlier order that had restrained the release of the film on any public forum or platform, including YouTube.

The Petitioner, being aggrieved, had challenged the orders passed by the High Court permitting the release of the film after several deletions of controversial dialogues before the Supreme Court.

On June 13, 2024, the Supreme Court had suspended the screening of the movie "Hamare Baarah" until the final disposal of the pending writ petition by the Bombay High Court.

The Bombay High Court has also directed the Respondents to donate within 8 weeks of the Film being released a sum of Rs. 5 Lakhs to Ideal Relief Committee Trust which will be used to provide reliefs to people in times of natural disasters.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the writ petition.

Cause Title: Azhar Basha Tamboli v. Ravi S. Gupta and Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:BHC-AS:23899-DB)


Petitioner/Applicant: Advocates Mayur Khandeparkar, Aneesa Cheema, Aditya Miskita, Rekha Musale, Nitin Rajguru, Fazlurrahman Shaikh, Karim Pathan and Shane Illahi.

Respondents: Senior Advocate Rahul Narichania, AGP Kavita N Solunke, Advocates Madhu Gododia, Advait M. Sethna, Sunjay Mukherji, Deveesha Tudekar, Ashutosh Mishta, Poushali Roychoudhury, Siddharth Thacker, Sunilkumar Neelambaran, Jeyhaan Carnac and Aaron Kevin Fernandes.

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