NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Thursday hear the plea of Padmaavat producers who have appealed against the ban imposed by six states on the film.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud agreed to hear the matter on Thursday after the counsels of Viacom 18 and other producers pleaded for urgent hearing as the film is slated to release soon.
The producers submitted that the movie had undergone changes, including in its title, as suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification. Questioning the state government’s power to impose complete ban on a film, they pointed out that the apex court had already clarified in the past that states could not impose a blanket ban on a film and its screening can be only suspended in a particular area or areas on account of law and order problem, not across the states.
The Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed movie is scheduled for release on January 25. But the governments of Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have declared that they will not allow screening of the movie — which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh — in their respective states.
The film was given the go-ahead by the Censor Board, which had asked the makers to change the title from Padmavati to Padmaavat and suggested some other modifications.On two previous occasions, the Supreme Court had refused to stay the release of films and had said it cannot pre-judge a movie before the authorised body, i.e., CBFC, takes a decision.
The film has been in controversy from the beginning, with Rajput groups opposing it on the grounds that it portrays Queen Padmini in bad light. The sets of the movie were vandalised in Jaipur and Kolhapur and the director was roughed up by Karni Sena members last year.