Hearing a case regarding an FIR against filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and others over the film Padmavat, the Rajasthan High Court on Friday said that the movie has to be “perused discreetly”. “In order to test veracity of the allegations levelled in the FIR impugned, the disputed movie has to be perused albeit discreetly,” the bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta said Friday. The matter was heard before the High Court’s principal seat in Jodhpur.
An FIR had been filed in March last year in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district against Bhansali and Padmavat actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
Bhansali had then approached the High Court for quashing of the FIR with the court subsequently staying the police investigation. On behalf of the petitioners, senior counsel Mahesh Bora had argued that the movie, then titled Padmavati, was still being made and even a trailer had not been released. He had emphasised that a film could not be exhibited without certification by the Central Board of Film Certification. Bora had termed it a “glaring example of an attempt of personal vendetta against the petitioners by overzealous complainants”.
When the matter was listed again on Friday, Nishant Bora, who represented the petitioners, told The Indian Express that the court said that “in order to substantiate or disprove the allegations, a discreet screening of the movie is required”.