The Supreme Court turned down a request to ban “Padmavati”, yet again, the third time this month and said,
“those holding public offices should not comment on such issues.”, reprimanding Chief Ministers and others who have spoken out against the film.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra dismissed the fresh petition, that sought an order to restrain the producers of the movie from releasing it abroad.
Lawyer M. L. Sharma had also sought a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and others for various offenses including defamation and violation of the Cinematography Act.
The bench which also comprised of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud termed as “misconceived”, the prayers sought by Sharma in his fresh petition and said,
“When the matter is pending the consideration of the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification), how can persons holding public offices comment on whether CBFC should issue a certificate or not? That will prejudice the decision of the CBFC.”
“Padmavati” has been opposed by several top politicians who say that the film cannot be allowed to “distort history” and offend the sentiments of Hindu groups.
The Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have said, they will not allow the movie to release even if it is cleared by the censor board.
Top union ministers have said, Mr. Bhansali should consult with opponents of the film and historians to arrive at a version that is acceptable to them all.
Karni Sena, a fringe group, has led the protests against the film and reportedly has also threatened to harm Deepika Padukone who plays the lead role of Padmavati in the movie.
Filmmakers and artists have said that is a blatant violation of freedom of expression.
The 190-crore movie is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali who has denied reports that the movie suggests a romance between Rajput warrior-queen Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, the Delhi sultan who was obsessed with her beauty. According to legend, the queen set herself on fire after her husband was killed in battle to ensure that Khilji would not capture her.