The makers of Zero told the Bombay High Court on Friday that lead actor Shahrukh Khan was holding a sword and not a 'kirpan' in the movie's poster and trailer. A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and S V Kotwal was hearing a petition filed by advocate Amritpal Singh Khalsa, claiming that the movie's trailer and poster have hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community.
The petition, filed earlier this month, sought a direction to the film's director and producers to delete the scenes where Shah Rukh is seen wearing a 'kirpan' (a sword or small dagger carried by Sikhs). The petition also sought a direction to the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) not to grant certification to the movie or to revoke it in case it has already been given.
Senior counsel Narvoze Serwai, appearing for Shah Rukh Khan, producers Gauri Khan and Karuna Badwal, and director Anand L Rai, told the court on Friday that the petition is based entirely on an "erroneous assumption". "What the lead actor is wearing is not a kirpan. It is an ordinary sword," Serwai told the court.
The court then sought to know if the film has been granted certification from the censor board. To this, CBFC counsel Advait Sethna said the same was pending. He further told the court that the poster in question was not part of the trailer submitted by the film-makers while seeking certification.
The court has asked the censor board to examine the allegations and points raised in the petition while considering the movie for certification. "Let the CBFC examine and carry out scrutiny in the light of the points raised in the petition. We refrain from making any remarks at this stage," Justice Dharmadhikari said.
The bench then posted the petition for further hearing on December 18. The movie is slated for release on December 21. The petition refers to the film's poster in which Khan is seen wearing a vest and shorts, with a garland of Rs 500 notes around his neck and a 'kirpan' tied diagonally across his chest. Khalsa took exception to this scene and referred to the historical and cultural importance of 'kirpan', saying it is worn after taking 'rehat maryada' (conversion to Sikhism).