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SC rejects Maharashtra plea,clears Deshdrohi

The Supreme Court on Friday cleared the screening of Deshdrohi,paving the way for the film to be released in 70 theatres across Maharashtra.

The Supreme Court on Friday cleared the screening of Deshdrohi,paving the way for the film to be released in 70 theatres across Maharashtra. A Bench of Justices S B Sinha and M K Sharma refused to agree with the contention of Solicitor General G E Vahanvati,appearing for the Maharashtra Government,that if the film was screened it would lead to a law and order problem in the state.

However,despite the Supreme Court’s nod,the film could be released only in a few theatres in Nagpur and Marathwada and did not hit screens in Mumbai,Thane,Nashik and Pune as the police “refused” to provide protection to theatre owners who were allegedly receiving threats from Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS).

The state,which approached the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking an urgent stay on the screening,argued that it was not ready for another situation that threatened peace in the aftermath of the terror strikes in November. The high court had cleared the screening of the film on the ground that the state’s ban on its release was based on “extraneous grounds”. The Maharashtra Government had suspended the screening of the film in the state November under Section 6 of the Bombay Cinema (Regulation) Act.

The film is being viewed as a ‘reel’ take on the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s hate campaign against north Indians in Maharashtra.

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First published on: 24-01-2009 at 12:25:58 am
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