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SC to hear pleas of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh against 'Padmaavat' on Tuesday

Violence and arson erupted in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Haryana ahead of Thursday's release of movie 'Padmaavat'. 

SC to hear pleas of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh against 'Padmaavat' on Tuesday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is expected to hear the pleas on Tuesday of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments, seeking recall of its January 18 orders allowing the screening of film 'Padmaavat' in theatres across India.

The apex court had, on January 18, 2018, paved way for the nationwide release of the movie on January 25 by lifting the ban put by states like Gujarat and Rajasthan on its screening.

It had also restrained other states from issuing orders banning the Deepika Padukone-starrer.

"List the applications for hearing tomorrow (Tuesday)," a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said on Monday when the counsel for both states mentioned the interim applications seeking modification of the order that has allowed the screening of the film.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the movie producer, opposed urgent hearing on the pleas saying it was "unfortunate" the way things were happening despite the apex court order.

Meanwhile, two bodies which have been protesting against the film - Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena and Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha, also moved the apex court seeking their impleadment as parties, opposing its release on grounds including that it hurt the sentiments of the community.

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."

The state also cited upcoming by-elections and intelligence inputs to support its plea and said there may be law and order problems if the film is released.

On the other hand, violence and arson erupted in parts of BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Haryana on Monday ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama as the Karni Sena on Monday warned of "enormous outburst of people" if the movie was released.

Protests and acts of vandalism were reported from various parts of MP, 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.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)