Operation successful for John Abraham-starrer Batla House

Last-minute scare for John Abraham-starrer Batla House as team cancels a special screening, before HC rules in its favour

The run-up to the Independence Day release of Batla House has not been smooth — only a fortnight ago, the two accused in the 2008 Batla House encounter moved the Delhi High Court seeking a stay on the film’s release. Yesterday, the makers of the John Abraham starrer found themselves in for a minor scare when the High Court did not pass its verdict until later in the evening. As a pre-emptive measure, the team cancelled the special screening that was scheduled for 3 pm, leading to speculation that the movie may not be able to keep its August 15 date with the audience.

Vinod Bhanushali of T-Series, the co-producer of the film, said, “We cancelled the press show in the afternoon after our lawyers advised us to do so. We were waiting for the court’s verdict.”

Fortunately, by evening, the Nikkhil Advani-directed venture received a clearance from the Delhi High Court. It is learnt that a special screening was held in the capital after which the court gave its verdict. Relieved and joyous in equal measure, the makers hurriedly rescheduled the preview for 8.30 pm. A press conference to clear the air regarding the film is on the cards today. “Everything is fine, we have faith in the judiciary. The film will release as scheduled,” added Bhanushali.

The film is inspired by the 2008 encounter, in which Delhi Police Special Cell team raided a flat in Batla House in Jamia Nagar, Delhi, on a tip-off that suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists were hiding there. Earlier this month, two accused in the case — Ariz Khan and Shehzad Ahmad — moved court to stall the film’s release, citing that the movie would prejudice the outcome of the trial.

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