NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear appeals from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to recall its order clearing the January 25 release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film, Padmaavat.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Viacom 18, the producer of the movie, has opposed any urgent hearing on an interim application. But a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed to hear the plea.
While appealing for a recall of the apex court’s January 18 ruling, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have claimed that states were empowered under the Cinematograph Act to stop a movie’s screening on grounds of law and order. In its appeal, Rajasthan has emphasised the need to prevent public unrest in view of
the sentiments of the Rajput community.
The states’ appeals come against the backdrop of continued protests by right-wing groups such as the Karni Sena demanding a ban on the film. The outfit has also approached the Supreme Court for stopping the film’s release.
Karni Sena activists took to the streets in some parts of MP on Monday against the film’s release, blocking roads and burning tyres to disrupt traffic. They staged road blockades in Indore, Ujjain and Jhabua.
In Ujjain, protesters put burning tyres on the roads connecting Ujjain to Nagda, Dewas to Maksi and Agar to Kota. In Indore, around 50 Karni Sena activists burnt tyres on a bypass near, resulting in a traffic snarl. In Jhabua, the activists blocked the Indore-Ahmedabad national highway for about an hour.
Padmaavat was originally scheduled for release last December but it was put on hold following protests by Rajput groups. On January 18, the court stayed the ban on its screening in Gujarat and Rajasthan, paving the way for its pan-India release. It also restrained other states from issuing any notification banning the screening.