The Supreme Court has turned down a request to ban Padmavati for the third time this month. The SC rebuked the Chief Ministers and others who have spoken out against the film. The Panel said,
“Those holding public offices should not comment on such issues.”
The judges reiterated that it is the duty of the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) to review the film and make a decision on whether or not it is suitable for screening.
The bench was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. He dismissed the fresh petition that had sought an order to restrain the producers of the movie from releasing it abroad.
Lawyer M. L. Sharma had sought a direction to the 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 it as “misconceived”, the prayers sought by Sharma in his fresh petition. Theysaid.
“When the matter is pending the consideration of the CBFC, how can a person holding public offices comment on whether CBFC should issue a certificate or not? That will prejudice the decision of the CBFC.”
Padmavati has faced controversies since the time its shooting started. It has been opposed by several top politicians who believe 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.
The Karni Sena, has led the protests against the film and has threatened to harm Deepika Padukone who plays the lead role.
Filmmakers and artists have said that is a blatant violation of freedom of expression.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director of Padmavati denied reports that the movie suggests a romance between Rajput warrior queen Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. According to legend, the queen sets herself on fire after her husband was killed in battle to ensure that Khilji would not capture her.