Padmaavat: SC to hear plea of Raj, MP against release

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New Delhi: Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh today moved the Supreme Court seeking the recall of its 18 January order by which controversial Bollywood movie Padmaavat was allowed to be released in theatres across India on 25 January.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud agreed to hear tomorrow the interim applications of both the states seeking modification of the apex court order allowing exhibition of the movie.

The states claimed that section 6 of the Cinematograph Act empowers them to stop the exhibition of any controversial movie on the grounds of possible violation of law and order.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Viacom 18 the producers of the Deepika Padukone-starrer, opposed urgent hearing on any such interim applications.

The court, however, agreed to hear the applications tomorrow.

The Supreme Court had on 18 January paved the way for the nationwide release of Padmaavat by staying the ban on its screening in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The apex court also restrained other states from issuing any such notification or order banning the screening of the movie.

The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, is based on the saga of the historic battle of the 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.

Haryana and Madhya Pradesh governments have not issued any formal order but had stated that they would not allow the exhibition of the film.

Maintaining that states were under constitutional obligation to maintain law and order, the apex court had said that this duty also includes providing police protection to persons who are involved in the film, its exhibition and the audience watching it.

PTI