Maharashtra on Thursday approached the Supreme Court to restrain the screening of the controversial film,Deshdrohi,arguing that the state couldn’t afford another law and order crisis and a threat to its peace so soon after the November terror attacks.
The Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi agreed to hear the matter on Friday when the film is scheduled for release.
Citing a clear intelligence report prepared by the state,Solicitor General G E Vahanvati said: The release of the film will create disturbances,violence,riots,protests,etc. on regional, linguistic,communal basis in Maharashtra… Mumbai (is just) settling down from the recent terror attacks,a stay on the films release becomes imperative.
A Bhojpuri film,Deshdrohi,is believed to be inspired by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray’s campaign against north Indians in the state.
Fearing retaliatory violence,the state Government had suspended the screening of the film through orders on November 12 and 20,2008,under Section 6 of the Bombay Cinema (Regulation) Act. However,on January 9,the Bombay High Court had quashed the orders. While it took into account the concern of the state Government,the court said no records are maintained of any kind,particularly when on the basis of such inputs,a decision is sought to be taken by the state which has serious civil consequences on the rights of an individual citizen. The state then approached the Supreme Court.