The Supreme Court will on Thursday hear a plea by the producer of Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmaavat, opposing the ban on its release in several states. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud agreed to take it up after the counsel for Viacom 18 mentioned it for urgent hearing, saying the Bollywood drama was set for all-India release on January 25.
Governments of Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have declared that they will not allow screening of the movie, which also stars Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. The producers moved the top court through senior lawyer Harish Salve and advocate Mahesh Agarwal and submitted that the movie has undergone changes, including in its title, as suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Asserting that the film has been cleared by the CBFC, the plea said the states cannot impose a blanket ban on a film and its screening can be suspended in a particular area on account of law and order problem, not across the states. Earlier on two occasions, the apex court had thwarted attempts to stall release of the film, saying it cannot pre-judge a movie before the CBFC takes a decision.
The court had on November 28 expressed its displeasure over remarks made by politicians and asked them to desist from reacting, saying it may prejudice the censor board’s decision. The movie sets were vandalised in Jaipur and Kolhapur, while director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was roughed up by members of Karni Sena last year. Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government officially banned Padmaavat in ‘public interest’. An order to this effect was issued by the state home department on Wednesday. “… Rajasthan considers it necessary to do so in public interest and to maintain the law and order situation,” the order read. with ENS jaipur