No “Padmavati” Ban, Says Supreme Court, Rebukes Chief Ministers

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The Supreme Court reiterated that it is the prerogative of the national censor board to review the film – “Padmavati” and make a decision on whether it is suitable for screening.

NEW DELHI — A Supreme Court Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, dismissed a fresh petition seeking an order to restrain the producers of movie Padmavati from releasing it abroad.

This is the third time this month that the Supreme Court turned down a request to ban “Padmavati” and said it is the prerogative of the national censor board to review the film and make a decision on whether it is suitable for screening.

In a rebuke to Chief Ministers and others who have spoken out against the film the judges 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 certificate or not? That will prejudice the decision of the CBFC,” the judges said.

Lawyer M L Sharma also sought a direction to the CBI to register a case against film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and others for various ‘offences’, including defamation and violation of the Cinematography Act.

”Grave damage would be done to social harmony if the movie is allowed to be released outside India”, the petitioner argued.

However, the court took strong exception to the statements made by persons holding high offices against Padmavati, saying the remarks were tantamount to pre-judging the movie, which is yet to be certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The Bench, which also comprised Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, termed “misconceived”, the prayers sought by Mr. Sharma in his fresh petition.

The Bench, however, did not impose cost on Mr. Sharma, keeping in view the fact that he has been a practising lawyer of the apex court.

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.

The set of the movie was vandalised twice — in Jaipur and Kolhapur — and Mr. Bhansali was roughed up by members of Karni Sena during the Jaipur schedule of the film earlier this year. — Agencies

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