New Delhi, January 23: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the pleas of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments against the release of Bollywood film Padmaavat. Both the state governments have moved the apex court seeking recall of its January 18 orders allowing the screening of the controversial film in theatres across India on the grounds that its release would create “law and order” problems. Also Read - Pregnant Woman Shot Dead For Allegedly Refusing to Physical Relationship With Brother-in-law
The top court had, on January 18, lifted the ban on the release of the movie on January 25 across India. It had also restrained other states from issuing orders banning the Deepika Padukone-starrer, based on the saga of a historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. (Also read: Ahead of ‘Padmaavat’ Release, Section 144 Imposed in Gautam Budh Nagar) Also Read - Supreme Court To Start 'Hybrid Mode' Hearings on Experimental Basis From March 15
Two bodies which have been protesting against the film — Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena and Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha, also moved the apex court seeking their impleadment as parties, opposing its release on grounds including that it hurt the sentiments of the community. (Also read: Karni Sena Protesters Disrupt Traffic on Pune-Panvel Expressway) Also Read - Two Killed In Brawl At Madhya Pradesh BJP MLA's Birthday Bash
Madhya Pradesh, in its plea, had submitted that section 6 of the Cinematograph Act empowers the state to stop exhibition of any controversial movie on the grounds of possible violation of law and order.
Rajasthan, in its application, has referred to several recent incidents of violence that has taken place in there and sought modification of the order to the extent that the movie is not allowed to be released in the state. Referring to a local law that empowered Rajasthan to stall the exhibition of a movie, it said, “the administrative machinery of the state is the best judge of the conditions prevailing in the state and the state administration is best equipped to have inputs of any likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance in law and order.”
“The state of Rajasthan is duty bound to comply with the …directions with all the sincerity. However, it is also necessary that this court may also take note of the situation in the state where ‘Rani Padmavati’, is treated as a warrior who committed ‘Jauhar’ with several other women to protect her/their honour, and after her sacrifice, the Rajput men died fighting on the battlefield.
“People, worship Rani Padmavati , not simply as a historical character but she has been given a status of ‘goddess’ who defended her honour against a Muslim invader,” Rajasthan said in its plea.
Maintaining that states were under constitutional obligation to maintain law and order, the to court had said this duty also included providing police protection to persons involved in the film, its exhibition and the audience.
With inputs from PTI