The panel is headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur and its members are senior BJP leader LK Advani and film actor Raj Babbar, a Congress leader.
New Delhi: "Padmavati" director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Thursday faced a barrage of questions from a parliamentary panel which asked him if the "selective" media screening of his film was aimed at influencing the CBFC, sources said.
Bhansali appeared before the parliamentary standing committee on information technology to share his views on the controversy surrounding the film.
Sources said the members of the panel asked him, "How could you assume that the movie could be released on December 1 when you applied to the CBFC on November 11. As per the cinematography act, the CBFC may take 68 days before certifying a movie?"
"Is selective media screening of the movie fair and ethical? Was it an act to influence the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)," they asked.
They asked if creating a controversy was a new trend to sell the movie, sources said.
The panel said media was giving free space due to the ongoing controversy and even social media had given the movie immense space. They said it seemed that his movies tend to target communities which produced tension between them.
Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi was also scheduled to appear before the panel on Thursday, sources said.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief had told another parliamentary panel earlier in the day that a decision on the film would be taken after showing it to experts, the sources said.
The panel on information technology, which also looks into the issues of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, had called the meeting to discuss the problems and issues faced by the film.
It is headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur and its members are senior BJP leader LK Advani and film actor Raj Babbar, a Congress leader.
Various Rajput groups and political leaders have accused Bhansali of distorting history in the movie by using a romantic dream sequence between the Rajput queen Padmini and Sultan Alauddin Khilji, a claim repeatedly denied by the filmmaker.
Historians are divided over whether Padmini actually existed.
The Deepika Padukone-Shahid Kapoor-Ranveer Singh film was earlier scheduled to release on December 1. The makers have deferred the release till they receive a certificate from the CBFC. They recently applied for 3D certification.