The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the release of Bollywood movie ‘Padmavati’, saying the censor board was yet to certify the film and the apex court should not exercise its jurisdiction in such a situation. “Has the film been placed before the censor board? Has the censor board certified the film?” a bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the counsel for petitioners.
The counsel answered that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was yet to certify the movie, following which the bench said “this court should not exercise its writ jurisdiction in such a situation”.
The court said there were several guidelines for the CBFC to grant certification to a movie and, in addition, there was the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal to examine grievances over a film.
The petition was filed by Siddharajsinh Mahavirsinh Chudasama and 11 others against the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed movie, which is likely to release on December 1. The petition also requested setting up of a committee of eminent historians to check the script to prevent any inaccuracy in the portrayal of Padmavati, and that the film should not be released until the inaccuracies, if any, were corrected.
The plea said the war saga was based on the 13th-century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. Padmavati, the queen of Mewar, and several Rajput women had sacrificed their lives by committing ‘jauhar’ (sati), the plea said, adding that the movie distorted historical truths, “hurting the sentiments of Kshatriya community”.
The petition alleged that Bhansali has not been “averse to generating controversy” in the shooting of a film to create interest in it.