Acting on a plea by filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh to quash an FIR against them in Nagaur district over their movie Padmaavat, the Rajasthan High Court on Friday said the movie be screened “discretely” before it on Monday, as “screening of the movie is essential for securing the ends of justice”.
The FIR was lodged following a complaint by Virendra Singh and Nagpal Singh Rathore of Nagaur against the trio at Deedwana police station in Nagaur district last year. The FIR was lodged under Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
Bhansali and the actors had prayed that the FIR be quashed, following which the court had in January said that “in order to test veracity of the allegations levelled in the FIR impugned, the disputed movie has to be perused”.
Following the court’s instructions, government advocate Shiv Kumar Vyas, appearing with Jodhpur Police Commissioner Ashok Rathore on Friday, requested the court that the petitioner specify the plan of screening the movie. Bhansali’s advocate Ravi Bhansali then said his clients were ready to screen the movie in “any suitable theatre at once”.
The bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta then directed that the movie “shall be screened discretely in a suitable theatre” on Monday, and listed the matter for Tuesday. The High Court noted that the movie has “already been released after due certification from the censor board” and that the “apex court has rejected the prayer for staying the release”.
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