The Supreme Court is slated to hear pleas by Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan governments against release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ on Tuesday. The state governments have sought recall of apex court’s order on January 18, which paved the way for pan-India release of the film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.
The top court had ruled that no state was allowed to ban release of Padmaavat as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had already given a go-ahead to the film. It had listed bans imposed by Rajasthan and Gujarat on the screening of the movie in cinema halls.
Arguing for the filmmakers in the apex court, senior advocate Harish Salve had opposed urgent hearing on the pleas saying it was "unfortunate" the way things were happening despite the apex court order.
Madhya Pradesh, in its plea, has 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."
Meanwhile, there has been no end to violent protests against the film by groups like Sri Rajput Karni Sena in different parts of the country. In the latest instance, ticket counter of a cinema hall in Hapur was vandalised by unidentified miscreants on Monday.
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Protests and acts of vandalism were also reported from various parts of Madhya Pradesh, including in Indore, Ujjain and Jhabua on Monday. Activists of Karni Sena also staged blockades by burning tyres on roads connecting Ujjain to Nagda, Dewas to Maksi and Agar to Kota.
The highway to Ujjain was blocked for hours, while police said that Karni Sena activists tried to hijack a truck and set it on fire in Indore. In Bhopal, members of the Rajput group, held demonstration outside Jyoti Talkies and warned of consequences if the film was released.
Violence was also reported from Haryana where some miscreants vandalised Kessel Mall in Kurukshetra late on Sunday.