Producer and chairperson of the Censor Board, Pahlaj Nihalani, has filed a defamation suit against IIFA (International Indian Film Academy), and its organisers Wizcraft International.
Nihalani sent a five-page legal notice to the IIFA and Wizcraft International asking for a public apology for the defamatory remarks passed against him.
The legal notice (a copy of which is in this writer’s possession) sent on behalf of Pahlaj by his lawyer Suren Uppal states that at the IIFA awards held on July 15 in New York, Nihalani’s picture was misused. During a skit performed by Ritesh Deshmukh and Manish Paul, the CBFC chairperson was referred to as a ‘watchman’.
The 5-page notice goes on to state that the same kind of “grossly defamatory expressions” were undertaken at the IIFA in 2016 in a skit by Farhan Akhtar and Shahid Kapoor.
The notice demands an unconditional apology in several newspapers and channels and a pledge to not defame Nihalani with similar acts in the future.
Says Mr Nihalani, “The matter is gone legal now. So I’ll say only one thing. I know when to laugh and when to make others cry.”
The CBFC chairperson plans legal action against all those who have repeatedly been ridiculing him. We hear Suhel Seth is next in the line of fire. Pahlaj states, “These people forget they insult not me, but the position held by me as the chairperson of the CBFC. It’s time to let them know the joke is not on me.”