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Contempt petition in SC against Karni Sena, 4 states for opposing Padmaavat

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear contempt petitions against Karni Sena members and four states.

Contempt petition in SC against Karni Sena, 4 states for opposing Padmaavat

With protests going unabated against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, a contempt petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against three members of Sri Rajput Karni Sena. The petition has accused the members of the Karni Sena of violating apex court order, which paved way for pan-India release of the film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.

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A petition has also been filed against four states – Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh – which refused to screen Padmaavat despite clear directive from the Supreme Court that no state should ban the movie, and should ensure maintenance of law and order.

One contempt petition has been filed by Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawalla, seeking action against governments of Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh for their alleged failure in containing mobs protesting the release of the Deepika Padukone-starrer 'Padmaavat'.

Another similar petition has been filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Karni Sena and its office-bearers for allegedly holding violent protest against the movie in several states.

"All fresh petitions will be taken up on Monday," a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.

Both petitions referred to the various apex court orders allowing exhibition of movie in theatres across India with the observation that maintaining law and order is the duty of the state governments.

This comes even as the film was released in theatres amid heavy security in different parts of the country. However, the release of the film was not smooth enough as there were reports of some cinema halls – one in Gurugram and two in Mumbai – cancelling their shows fearing violent protests.

There were also reports of protests in several parts. While a group of protesters brandished swords and burn tyres in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, several shops were vandalised in Udaipur in Rajasthan. The situation was similar in Jaipur where a motorbike rally was organised by members of Karni Sena.

Meanwhile, there was no end to politics over the film, with members of both Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress speaking against the screening of the movie. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that movies that hurt sentiments of any caste or religion should not be made, whereas BJP’s Subramanian Swamy said that there was no historical value of the movie.

(With agency inputs)