Can handle law, order situation post-‘Aarakshan’ release: Govt

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government today informed the Bombay High Court that it was capable of handling the law and order situation, if any, post release of Prakash Jha’s film ‘Aarakshan,’ which has stirred up a controversy for its alleged anti-reservations stand.

After taking instructions from home department`s joint secretary who was present in the court, additional government pleader Vijay Patil stated that it was the government`s duty to maintain law and order.

"We cannot say if there are possibilities of any law and order problem post the movie`s release without seeing it. We might write to the producer to show movie to the home department officials," Patil said.

Jha`s lawyers Venkatesh Dhond and Ameet Naik had told the court earlier that the movie would not be screened for any political leader or party before the release.

The division bench of justices D D Sinha and A R Joshi today posted the matter on August 9, to decide whether the court should watch the film before passing order.

The court was hearing the petition filed by two lawyers, opposing Censor`s clearance for the film, on the ground that its anti-reservation stand would cause disharmony in the society. Advocate Sanghraj Rupwate, petitioners` lawyer, had also sought to preview the movie along with the judges.

"We will decide on Tuesday whether the movie should be viewed before the release by us or any other section of the society," Justice Sinha said.

Jha has said in his affidavit before the court that his film was not anti-reservations or anti-Dalit, but was about commercialisation of the education.

The film is set for release on August 12.


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