The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a plea filed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments seeking modification in its earlier order that lifted a ban on the controversial film ‘Padmaavat’ in the states.
The top court had last week set aside the notification passed by the states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat to ban the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat.
The states have asked the court instead to rule that individual state governments should be allowed to block the release on law and order grounds.
Earlier, the apex court refused to entertain a plea filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma, who claimed that the certificate issued by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to ‘Padmaavat’ was illegal.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday announced that the state will abide by the Supreme Court orders on Padmaavat and provide security to the cinema halls that will screen the movie.
The urgent petitions were lodged a day after protesters set fire to buses and blocked roads in Gujarat. In Rajasthan, women carrying swords marched in Chittorgarh against the movie. In Noida, Delhi-NCR, activists burned toll booths on a major highway after a rally.
Several Rajput groups accuse Bhansali of distorting history in the film, starring Deepika Padukone as legendary Rajput queen Padmini and Ranveer Singh as Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji. Protesters, led by the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, are upset over the depiction of Padmini and especially a rumoured dream sequence between Padukone and Singh – a charge that Bhansali has rejected.
In January last year, members attacked Bhansali and vandalised the set during filming in Rajasthan. The leader of the group had also offered Rs 50 million to anyone who “beheaded” lead actress Deepika Padukone or Bhansali
Padmaavat is set to release in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil on January 25 after the censor board earlier this month subjected the film to five changes and cleared it for exhibition.