Padmaavat controversy: SC suspends ban in four states; Bhansali's film to release across India on 25 January

FP Staff

Jan 18, 2018 13:22:53 IST

Supreme Court suspended the ban of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama Padmaavat in four states — Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana — days before the film's release on 25 January.

 Padmaavat controversy: SC suspends ban in four states; Bhansalis film to release across India on 25 January

Deepika Padukone in a still from Padmavati. Twitter@FilmPadmavati

Harish Salve, who represented Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, the producers of Padmaavat, argued that if states are banning films, they are putting the federal structure of India in grave danger.

Salve also reportedly said, "State can't ban the film once the CBFC gives clearance." He also put forth his arguments before the apex court. Times Now quotes Salve saying, "State has political constituency to cater to, so i can't ban the release. Executive doesn't have a say on freedom of speech."

The Indian Express reports that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was arguing for the ban in states, said that history can be twisted and someone could even show Mahatma Gandhi "sipping whisky".

Supreme Court gave a green signal to the film's release and instructed all states to maintain law and order after the film releases on the eve of Republic Day.

It is also reported that the Chief Justice of India, during the hearing, slammed the state governments for abruptly banning the film. TV reports quoted CJI saying, "How can you stop exhibit of a film? My constitutional conscience is shocked."

Meanwhile, Karni Sena member Vivek Shekhawat said to News 18, "All the states have the right to ban a film if the law and order situations gets out of control. We'll make sure that the state governments take this into consideration." The fringe group maintained that they will continue their protests and even threatened to burn down cinema halls screening the film.

Multiple celebrities, including film producer Mukesh Bhatt and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor lauded the apex court's decision.


The film — even after the title-change, amendments suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and finally getting a 'U/A' certification by the board — had been declared banned in four states including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana.

Padmaavat (the film) is based on the life and times of the fabled 13th century Rajput queen Padmini of Chittorgarh who chose self immolation over falling prey to the clutches of foreign invader Alauddin Khilji, as mentioned in the epic poem Padmavat written by 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi.

The film stars Deepika Padukone as Padmini, Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji and Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh. It is slated to release globally on 25 January along with Akshay Kumar's Padman.\

(Also read — Padmaavat: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says film should be celebrated as there is 'nothing objectionable' in it)

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Updated Date: Jan 18, 2018 13:39:39 IST