States cannot ban release of Padmaavat, rules Supreme Court

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Supreme Court to hear plea challenging ban on 'Padmaavat'
Supreme Court to hear plea challenging ban on 'Padmaavat'

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that states have no right to ban the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming movie 'Padmaavat'. The apex body also mentioned that it is a responsibility of states to maintain peace.

"If states are banning a film, then it destroys the federal structure. States can't touch the content of a film. If anybody has a problem, they can approach the appellate tribunal," argued senior lawyer Harish Salve on behalf of the producers of "Padmaavat".

The producers, Bhansali Productions and Viacom18 Motion Pictures, referred to a past Supreme Court order that a film cannot be banned on the basis of anticipation of law and order trouble.

"If you go by the arguments against films, I have no hesitation in saying 60 per cent of the classical literature cannot be read," said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

The producers had reached the top court to convince the states - Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra - to withdraw the ban on the release of the film.

To avoid any kind of law and order situation, the four states have banned release of Padmaavat. The film has been under trouble after a faction of Rajput community claimed that it has distorted facts of the history.

Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in lead roles, the film is based on the 16th century Sufi poet Mohammad Jayasi's poem Padmavat.

'Padmaavat' has been scheduled to release across the globe on January 25 after Censor Board cleared it with a U/A certificate.