New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for the release of controversial movie Padmaavat, lifting the ban imposed by four states on screening of the movie. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra pulled up the states for banning the movie and said that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was the only statutory body that could take a decision to ban a movie.

Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat had banned the movie’s release. Other states that opposed its release are Bihar, Chattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd, the producer of the movie, moved the apex court on Wednesday, 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 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.

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