SC dismisses plea to stop Padmavati’s release abroad

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi.

File Photo of Supreme Court of India building in New Delhi.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the fresh petition that had sought an order to restrain the producers of the movie ‘Padmavati’ from releasing it abroad.

The historical film is based on the life of Rajput queen Padmavati.

The decision was taken by a bench comprised of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.

The bench also took strong exception to statements made by persons holding high offices against the film “Padmavati”, saying the remarks were tantamount to pre-judging the movie which is yet to be certified by the Censor Board.

Lawyer ML Sharma had also sought a direction to the CBI to register a case against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and others for various offences including defamation and violation of the Cinematography Act.

Mumbai: Akhil Bharatiya Maratha Mahasangh and Akhil Bharatiys Kshatriyahasangh members protest against Sanjay Leela Bansali's upcoming film Padmavati at Azad Maidan , in Mumbai on Monday. PTI Photo

Mumbai: Akhil Bharatiya Maratha Mahasangh and Akhil Bharatiys Kshatriyahasangh members protest against Sanjay Leela Bansali’s upcoming film Padmavati at Azad Maidan , in Mumbai on Monday. PTI Photo

The bench termed as “misconceived”, the prayers sought by Sharma in his fresh petition and said that the court cannot pre-judge a movie which is yet to be certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Sharma in his petition had alleged that grave damage will be done to social harmony if the movie was allowed to be released outside India. He also sought criminal prosecution of the makers of the movie for allegedly misrepresenting facts that the songs and promos were cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Earlier, the apex court had dismissed his plea seeking to delete certain alleged objectionable scenes from movie. Sharma had approached the court seeking a direction for removal of all scenes of alleged ‘character assassination’ of Queen Padmavati from the movie before its release. But the bench had observed that the CBFC had not yet given certificate to the movie and the apex court cannot “injunct” a statutory body from doing its duty.

In the past two weeks, there have been protests in several states against the release of the film, especially Rajasthan.

After a string of protests, Viacom 18, the makers of the film, had announced that the film’s release had been deferred. It was originally scheduled to be released on December 1.

Earlier too the set of the movie was vandalised twice — in Jaipur and Kolhapur — and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was beaten up by members of Karni Sena.

(With inputs from PTI)