New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a challenge by the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh seeking to stall the release of controversial movie Padmaavat, citing law and order problems.
A bench beaded by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed that the states must comply with their earlier order allowing the release.
While the states cited law and order problems being faced due to the release of the movie, the court held that people could choose to not watch the movie but it would not be banned from being released.
“We will not modify our earlier order, otherwise people will make a virtue of creating trouble," said justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
The court also said that it must be understood by the state governments that there is a censor board that has cleared the movie, after which the court has also allowed its release and they must abide by both.
On 18 January, the apex court cleared the way for the release of the controversial movie, lifting the ban imposed by four states on screening of the movie.
Thereafter, states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh had moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of this order.
The states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had banned the movie’s release. Other states that opposed its release are Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh.
Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd, the producer of the movie, had moved the apex court on 18 January, challenging the various state notifications that were stalling the release of the movie. The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has been embroiled in controversy ever since the project was announced by the producers.
The film’s final 3D application was submitted on 28 November, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) said. The film got embroiled in controversy after various Rajput groups alleged that it distorts history, a claim repeatedly denied by director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Historians are divided on whether Padmini actually existed. As protests spread across various states, the film’s 1 December release was deferred.
CBFC has given the movie a UA certificate without any cuts but suggested that the director change the film’s title to Padmaavat, besides making five other modifications.