Big Relief For Padmaavat: To Release Pan-India As Supreme Court Overrules Bans By 4 States

| January 18 , 2018 , 12:34 IST

In a major relief for the makers of Padmaavat, the Supreme Court, on Thursday, responding to a plea by the film's producers, overruled the ban placed on the film by the state governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, granting the film a green signal to release across India.

The respective state governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh had banned the movie, citing law and order difficulty.

The Supreme Court in its interim order said, "all states are constitutionally obliged to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident during the screening of the film across India, a permission granted by CBFC."

Renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmaavat, initially named Padmavati ran into considerable trouble due to protests by Rajasthan groups, over the depiction of the titular character Rani Padmani, essayed by Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone. The initial release date of December 1, 2017 was delayed and eventually finalised for January 25, 2018.

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However, the film was cleared by the censor board after certain changes, including change in the title of the film to Padmaavat. Despite the changes and a disclaimer that the film is fictional, Producers of Padmaavat approached the apex court, seeking to remove the ban applied by the individual states, since the film had already been approved by the Censor Board.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the producers of Padmaavat, appealed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday to direct the states for an 'effective' solution.

"Request the Central government to pass a direction to the states for a better and an effective step and solution," said Salve in the Supreme Court.

"If states are banning a film, then it is destroying federal structure. It is a serious matter. If somebody has a problem, then he or she can approach appellate tribunal for relief. State can't touch the content of a film," he said, representing producers of Padmaavat.

The film Padmaavat is based on the legendary story of the Queen of the Rajput kingdom of Chittor, Rani Padmani, the King Maha Rawal Ratan Singh and the invasion of their kingdom by the Sultan of Delhi Alauddin Khilji. While Deepika Padukone essays the role of Rani Padmani, Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor plays the role of Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh plays the role of Khilji.