The producers of Bollywood period drama Padmaavat, previously known as Padmavati, Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the ban on the film in four states. The plea will be heard by the apex court on Thursday.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of the counsel of the producer that the matter be heard urgently in view of the ban on its release by various state governments.
On Tuesday, Haryana joined the list of states which banned the film from being screened. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Health Minister Anil Vij proposed the ban citing law and order problems. His proposal was supported by the Cabinet including the chief minister. The film has so far been banned in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. It is scheduled for release on January 25.
Asserting that the movie has undergone changes including in its title as suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification and is cleared by the board, the plea said that the states cannot impose a blanket ban on a film. The producers moved the top court through senior lawyer Harish Salve and advocate Mahesh Agarwal, submitted, in a petition that the screening can be suspended in areas on account of law and order problem, but not across states.
Meanwhile, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court served a notice to CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi Tuesday, seeking his reply on a petition filed by one Kamta Prasad Singhal. The petitioner had sought a ban on the film’s release because it allegedly “glorified” Sati, a practice abolished in the 19th century.
The court, on November 9 last year, had dismissed the PIL but permitted the petitioner to move his grievance through a representation to the CBFC.