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Madras HC lifts ban on Vishwaroopam, film to release in TN

The Madras High Court, late on Tuesday evening, lifted the ban on Kamal Hassan's film Vishwaroopam, allowing it to be released in Tamil Nadu. Coming as interim relief for Kamal Hassan, the High Court lifted the stay on the film's release that was imposed by the Tamil Nadu government days before the film's release date, 25 January.

A promotional poster of Viswharoopam.

A promotional poster of Viswharoopam.

The ban was placed on Kamal Hassan's multi-crore venture after a host of Muslim groups protested to its content alleging that the film shows Muslims in poor light. Several of these groups alleged that one of the villains in the film, a terrorist, shared his name with a respected prophet in Islamic religious history.

The Tamil Nadu government had defended the ban in court, hours before the verdict came out, by saying that releasing the film could lead to security issues and breach peace in Tamil Nadu in the way of violence and damage to public property.

However, a CNN IBN report said that the High Court said that the ban did not hold in the face of the defence and hence they have decided to overturn it. The court, reportedly, went through all the petitions filed against the film before putting the section 144 imposed on the film in Tamil Nadu in abeyance.

The Muslim organisations that had protested against the film said that they hope that the government will appeal again, if need be in the Supreme Court.

The first screening of the film, according to sources, can take place as early as Wednesday.