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Rizwan Siddiquee has been made scapegoat to protect Nawazuddin and his brother, claims lawyer

It was earlier reported that the Crime Branch of Thane police arrested Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee for illegally obtaining call detail records (CDR) from private detectives.

After the arrest, Rizwan Siddiquee was produced in a Thane court on Saturday, 17 March. The lawyer is suspected of having illegally obtained Call Detail Records (CDR) of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s wife through private detectives.

Now, according to a report in MiD DAY, there is a suspicion that he may have got CDRs of more people.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui/image from Twitter.

Rizwan Siddiquee was arrested on Friday (16 March) in the CDR racket case. The case was unearthed in January by the Thane crime branch. The police has seized the laptop and mobile phone belonging to Rizwan Siddiquee and has claimed that the lawyer had deleted all data from both devices.

Rizwan Siddiquee’s advocate, Rizwan Merchant, said that his client was illegally detained by the police.

“Rizwan Siddiquee has been made a scapegoat to protect Nawazuddin and his brother,” said Merchant. He also said that a big officer was trying to protect the actor and that the officer’s name would be revealed very soon.

In the meantime, the court has sent Rizwan Siddiqui to police custody till 23 March.

Diljit Dosanjh on picking projects in Hindi films: ‘Unlike in Punjab, I’m not in a position to choose roles in Bollywood’

A few years ago people would wonder whether a turbaned sikh guy could be a mainstream Bollywood hero but Diljit Dosanjh has put those doubts to rest. Not only is the singer-actor having back to back releases in Bollywood but is also being cast opposite A-list heroines. After making a promising debut and an earnest performance in Udta Punjab opposite Kareena Kapoor, he was seen with Anushka Sharma in Phillauri. In his upcoming release, Welcome To New York, he will be seen with Sonakshi Sinha and then with Taapsee Pannu in Soorma, a biopic on hockey player Sandeep Singh, which will hit the theatres in June. He is currently shooting with Kriti Sanon for Arjun Patiala.

Diljit Dosanjh. Image from Twitter/@diljitdosanjh

Naturally, Diljit’s confidence has taken a boost. In his initial days, he would have probably wondered in self doubt when asked if there was a limitation to the kind of roles offered to him, but today he confidently states in a mix of Hindi and Punjabi, “Isn’t there a turbanator in every field? Sikhs are there in Navy, Army, the police force…there is no profession left where there is no sikh. So how can I have any such limitations?”

He further adds, “In the beginning when I started with music in Punjab and was keen on acting as well, people would dismiss me saying it wasn’t possible as no sikh had ever been seen as a Punjabi film hero and that I should be restricted to music. My first Punjabi film didn’t but I slowly started delivering hits, some of which even became top grossers. (Diljit has been appreciated for his versatile performances in Punjabi films like the Jatt & Juliet series, Punjab 1984 and Ambarsariya). Later, people said that I won’t be successful in Bollywood because I wear a turban, but my turban helped me get films here.”

Not easily accessible and also considered media-shy, Firstpost tracks him down on the sets of the singing reality show, Rising Star, where the jovial and happy go lucky jatt is the centre of attention. He is in the midst of young singers and some big names from the music industry – Shankar Mahadevan and Monali Thakur. Sporting a shiny yellow jacket and black turban, Diljit seems to be enjoying every bit of it. “I am enjoying both, acting as well as singing, I just wanted to do some good work which I am doing, let’s see where my life takes me. I enjoy each day of my life. Sometimes I have my mood swings but I still try to maintain a balance,” says the singing star, who candidly talks about his upcoming stage-show reality film, Welcome To New York which is based on an award show. “There are so many actors in it, and I, too, have a small part. But if you ask me the experience of doing the film, I really didn’t understand anything. I don’t know how they shot the film in so much chaos. I have no idea. It was difficult to shoot but I kept taking orders from the director and went on doing what I was told,” he laughs.

Known for his rustic charm and simplicity, Diljit might have a lot in the pipeline, but he isn’t someone who would succumb to stereotypes. He wants to do roles that are integral to the story. “I won’t do as many films now. It is just that I had lesser commitments and hence I can be seen in so many films. Last year I refused three to four films. If I don’t like anything I say no to it. Even in Punjab, I did just one film a year and I will follow the same in Bollywood provided I am offered one. I am in no hurry, no greed, as I am getting more than what I am capable of. I would like to use the remaining time on my singing and churn out more Punjabi films for my fans. I also have fans in the US, UK, Canada and I would like to continue doing stage shows for them. Whatever I have to say from my heart, I do it through Punjabi music,” he says without displaying an ounce of stardom.

“I enjoy making music more because there are no limitations as compared to movies. You have a team with who you gel and make music. But the film is not under your control. You listen to the story and script but what finally comes on the canvas could be different, whereas in music you can reject your own composition if you don’t like it and try something different. But films are huge projects; a lot of money is invested and directors have their own point of view,” he adds.

Secondly, Diljit says, he finds more freedom in the choice of movies back home. “I am not in a position to choose roles right now in Bollywood but in Punjabi films I have that choice. Producers are friends there but in Bollywood whatever is being offered I am taking up. My upcoming Punjabi film, Rangroot is on World War I which was something I was passionate about,” he says.

Considering the fact that Diljit never played any sport earlier in his life, one would expect the Shaad Ali-directed Soorma to be one of his most challenging roles of that of a hockey champion. Diljit says jokingly, “When I was a kid, I didn’t get the opportunity to play much sports as my parents would tell me to study. And now when I am getting paid to play so why not? (laughs) But I didn’t face any difficulty while shooting for Soorma. I didn’t have to do much training in the sport, I just had to play the game. I am very happy that in the second year of my acting career in Bollywood I got to do a biopic. Actually, I don’t find my work difficult. Just that when I am acting, I try to feel for the character I’m portraying but every take of mine tends to be different. I don’t treat myself as an actor who has a process, I perform with instinct.”

And even as Bollywood is showering love on him, Diljit prefers to meet people only for work as he doesn’t like “bothering people unnecessarily”. “I don’t stay in touch with industry folks much. I am here only to work. I never got work because of networking or meeting producers in parties. I don’t believe in PR,” signs off the endearing star.

Padmaavat: Delhi High Court rejects plea alleging glorification of Sati in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film

The Delhi High Court today rejected a plea seeking penal action against the producers and director of Bollywood movie Padmaavat for alleged glorification of the practice of ‘sati (immolation)’. A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar dismissed the plea saying the petitioner should have approached the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) at an appropriate time.

Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh from Padmaavat poster. Facebook

“The film stands released without any complaints and it is already in the public domain. If the petitioner was having any complaint with regard to the issue raised in his writ petition, he should have made complaint before the CBFC at an appropriate time. We find no merit in the petition. The same is dismissed (sic).” the court said.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by social activist Swami Agnivesh had sought deletion of the scenes that depict the practice of ‘sati‘. ‘Sati‘ is an obsolete funeral custom where a widow immolates herself on her husband’s pyre and the law prohibits it.

The court had earlier observed that according to one of the disclaimers in the film, it is a work of fiction and therefore, it does not show any intention or animus on the part of the producers or director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, to propagate the practice.

The petition, filed through advocate Mehmood Pracha, had sought directions to the Delhi Police to lodge an FIR against Ajit Andhare, one of the producers, and Bhansali. Central government standing counsel Manish Mohan, who appeared for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the censor board, had opposed the plea, saying the movie was certified for public viewing after considering all the aspects.

The court had said that in the present day and age, it was “hesitant to accept” the petitioner’s claim that someone would follow such a practice just by seeing the movie. The high court on 25 January had rejected a Rajasthan-based group’s plea seeking quashing of the certification granted to the film, saying the Supreme Court had permitted its release.

The film, which hit the theatres on 25 January, is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and has Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in the lead roles. It is based on the saga of a historic battle of 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.

The impending release of the movie had led to several incidents of vandalism, including an attack on a school bus in Gurugram and torching of a Haryana Roadways bus on 24 January. The set of the movie was vandalised twice — in Jaipur and Kolhapur, while its director Bhansali was roughed up by members of the Karni Sena last year. The apex court had paved the way for nationwide release of the movie by staying the ban on its screening in Gujarat and Rajasthan. It had also restrained other states from issuing any such notification or order banning the screening of the film.

Padmaavat box office collection: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus nears Rs 200 cr mark

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat is perhaps his most controversial and also his most successful film ever. At least the box-office figures suggest so; the film is all set to steer through the Rs 200 crore benchmark at the box office after nine days of its theatrical release.

Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in Padmaavat. Images via YouTube screengrabs

According to film trade analyst Taran Adarsh, the film may cross the mark after today’s collections come into picture. He took to Twitter and posted:

He also suggests that the period drama  marks Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor’s biggest box-office coup till date. While Deepika Padukone’s Chennai Express remains her highest grossing film ever, the way Padmaavat‘s collections are surging it may shatter those records soon.

Padmaavat, based on the epic ballad Padmavat written by the 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi chronicles the life and times of the 13th century Rajput queen Padmavati (played by Padukone) of Chittorgarh who chose self-immolation over falling prey to the hands of invader and ruler of Delhi Sultanate Alauddin Khilji (played by Singh) after her husband Maharawal Ratan Singh (played by Kapoor) is killed in the battle.

Padmaavat released on 25 January after being at the epicentre of nation-wide protests, violence and agitation captained by the fringe group Shri Rajput Karni Sena who claims that the film shows the Rajput queen and the Rajput traditions in a bad light.

Hindi Medium sequel in the works as T-Series, Maddock Films sign multiple-movie deal

After working together on Hindi Medium, Bhushan Kumar (T-Series head) and Dinesh Vijan (founder of Maddock Films) are all set to collaborate again. Kumar and Vijan have signed a multiple-movie deal which will include a sequel to the critically acclaimed film Hindi Medium starring Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar.

hindi medium fb

The Kriti Sanon-Diljit Dosanjh starrer Arjun Patiala is also a part of the multi-movie deal.

“When two like minded people join hands, it is an easy team to work with. When the people working on a project are passionate about their work and give their best it’s an easy boat to sail and when the industry appreciates this association it’s a cherry on the cake. Dinesh and his team are always conceptualizing unique content. Working on Hindi Medium together was a fruitful association. This has enabled us to want to work more and more together,” said Kumar, according to a Deccan Chronicle report.

The duo’s previous collaboration (Hindi Medium) received a ton of praise from the audience and critics alike. As evidence of the success and acclaim of Saket Chaudhary’s directorial venture, Hindi Medium went on to win the Best Film award at the 2018 Jio Filmfare Awards.

“It’s so encouraging to get this (The Best Film award from Filmfare) because it reinforces our long standing belief at Maddock Films that taking risks will finally pay off. With Hindi Medium, it’s great to see that after the dust settles, good content has emerged a winner. Bhushan and I share a productive partnership, especially when it comes to music, and we respect each other’s capabilities. But what excites me most is Maddock’s lineup for 2018… it’s very exciting, promising and an exhilarating mix of diverse films,” said Vijan, according to a Cinestaan report.

Akshay Kumar’s Padman is the first Indian film to be screened at Oxford Union; Twinkle Khanna to address students

Mumbai: Writer-producer Twinkle Khanna has been invited to speak at The Oxford Union, the world’s most prestigious debating society.

The 43-year-old actor-turned-author will address the students of the Oxford University on Thursday, where she will also showcase her upcoming production, Padman.

Poster of Padman. Image via Twitter

Based on the life of social entrepreneur and activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, who revolutionised sanitary hygiene in rural India 20 years ago, the film stars Twinkle’s husband actor Akshay Kumar in the title role.

Through her address, Twinkle will give an insight into the story of the movie and how it would play an interesting role in tackling taboos and addressing stigma around menstrual hygiene

Padman will be the first Indian film to be screened at The Oxford Union.

Also featuring Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor, the film opens worldwide on 25 January.

Fanney Khan: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan may pay tribute to Lata Mangeshkar in upcoming musical

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, whose next film is Atul Manjrekar’s Fanney Khan, has been a huge admirer of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar. Moreover, the interesting part is in Fanney Khan, she will not only be seen as a singer but will also reportedly pay tribute to Mangeshkar as she plays her fan in the upcoming movie.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. YouTube

Nothing has been officially revealed yet about Aishwarya’s role but Deccan Chronicle reports that she plays a popular singer in the film and a fan of Lata.

The same report states that co-producer Prernaa Arora is looking to acquire the rights for some of Lata Mangeshkar’s famous melodies. “Apart from a few original tracks, Aishwarya will also recreate a few of Lata’s numbers. That is not the film’s only connection with Lata. Anil Kapoor’s daughter, who plays an aspiring singer, is named Lata.

News Nation quotes Mangeshkar’s reaction to Aishwarya’s onscreen tribute, “It is good to hear that she is fond of my singing. I think I sang for her for the first time in Mohabbatein. The song ‘Humko Humhi Se Chura Lo‘ was a hit. It’s a beautiful melody and Aishwarya looked lovely lip-syncing it.”

Fanney Khan will be co-produced by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, KriArj Entertainment and T-Series Films. Apart from Aishwarya, the musical comedy also stars Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Divya Dutta. It is slated to release on Eid, 15 June, along with Remo D’Souza’s action thriller Race 3.

Padmavat: Manohar Parrikar says film’s Goa release will not be obstructed ‘if it has CBFC clearance’

If Padmavat has been given a censor certificate by the CBFC, then the Goa government does not have a problem in screening it in cinema halls, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on 10 January.

Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

“If they have a censor certificate we do not have objection. If there is a law and order issue, we will look at it then,” Parrikar told reporters.

“As of now, we have not got any intimation about the film being released. If there is a censor certificate, we are not stopping it from release…If they come with a censor certificate with some modification, I do not see big reason why we should interfere into it,” Parrikar added.

Parrikar also said that the state police had expressed apprehensions about the film being screened in Goa during the peak tourism season in December, when a significant chunk of the uniformed personnel are busy discharging law and order duties.

He added that since the peak season was over, the apprehension was irrelevant. “Police report was for peak season. Peak season is over, so there is no problem,” Parrikar said. Increased tourist traffic volumes in December often results in chaos, especially from a law and order point of view.

The women’s wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party had objected to the screening of the film in Goa citing law and order problems and wrong portrayal of queen Padmini in the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film.

Meanwhile, the Karni Sena has also urged Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to stall the film’s release in Delhi.

After much controversy and delay, the Central Board of Film Certification finally certified Padmavat, clearing the path for its release in cinema halls scheduled for 25 January, however, an official confirmation by the makers is awaited.

After Saaho, Telugu superstar Prabhas to be seen in a Bollywood romantic film

Telugu superstar Prabhas is riding high after the path-breaking success of Baahubali sagas — Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. He is all set to be seen in an action hero avatar in the upcoming trilingual film (Hindi, Telugu and Tamil) Saaho that also stars a bevy of Bollywood actors, starting from Shraddha Kapoor as the female lead; actors Jacky Shroff, Chunky Pandey, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Mandira Bedi — all in negative roles.

Prabhas in Bahubali 2/Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

While the speculations of the Baahubali star’s Bollywood debut has been doing the rounds for quite some time now, Prabhas, in a recent  interview revealed that he will be seen in a Bollywood romance drama, Reports India Today.

India Today‘s report suggest that the actor spoke to The Times of India and said, “I watch a lot of Hindi films. I live in Hyderabad, where 60 per cent of the people speak Hindi. I am getting good offers from Bollywood. I had okay-ed a script three years ago. It is a love story that I will do post Saaho.”

Prabhas, further speaking about his love for Bollywood, also spoke about the cordial relationship he shares with Karan Johar. “I made a good association with Karan Johar. If I want anything, I think I can ask him. He has helped us a lot. In fact, I met some actors (from Bollywood) in Karan’s house. They were all very chilled out.”

Speaking about fitting in different genres, he said that it is the script that matters at the end. If the script is good, an action star can pull of a romantic film and vice versa, reports Indian Express.

Prabhas is reportedly shooting for Saaho in Los Angeles. The film is expected to hit the screens later this year.