Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Hindi feature film Eklavya, India's official entry to the Oscars, on Saturday got into a legal tangle with the Bombay High Court observing that prima facie the selection of the movie appeared biased.
"Prima facie, there seems to be a merit in the argument (that the selection process was biased)," said a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud while hearing a petition challenging the selection of Eklavya - the Royal Guard.
The bench asked the Film Federation of India, which selected the film, to file a reply within 10 days and said, "Consequences of the film's selection would be subject to the court order."
The bench posted the matter to October 10 for further hearing. The petition was filed by director of film Dharm Bhavana Talwar challenging the selection.
Talwar's main contention is that the whole selection process was biased as some members of the selection committee, namely film director Sudhir Mishra, Jagdish Sharma and Ranjit Bahadur, were "very close" to Chopra.
Bahadur was the editor of Making of Eklavya', a promotional film on Ekalavya, the petitioner said.
The judges made it clear that high court has jurisdiction to hear such a case, by noting that "any process of selection which appears to be result of general or specific bias or arbitrariness can invite judicial review".