Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat to release pan-India as SC lifts by six states

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On Thursday, the Supreme Court stayed the ban of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat in six states. The top court also said that states must ensure law and order are maintained and they cannot ban the movie mentioning it as a problem. Every state is constitutionally grateful to maintain law and order and prevent any problematic incident during the screening of the film all over the country, the bench hearing the matter perceived.

The CJI Misra said during the hearing that “If we go by this (arguments leveled against films), 60 per cent of literature, even classical literature of India cannot be read”. Debating for the states, Additional Solictor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that history could be distorted to the extent that Mahatma Gandhi can be displayed as “sipping whiskey”. ASG Mehta added that “That’s distortion of history. Country will never allow that”. “That is not even distortion of history,” replied senior advocate Harish Salve, who was appearing on the behalf of producers. The film producers filed a petition on Tuesday before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, following a day Haryana joined the list of states to ban the film.

Later, the producers moved to the apex court through senior lawyer Harish Salve and advocate Mahesh Agarwal and submitted that the movie has endured changes, including in its title, as suggested by the Central Board of Certification (CBFC). The bench approved to hear the issue today following the petitioners asked for an immediate hearing of the matter. The governments of Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, all BJP-ruled states, had announced that they will not allow the screening of the movie, which is set for release on January 25. Following making some recommendations including a change in the film’s title, the CBFC had cleared the film for release with U/A certificate.

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