SC refuses to stay release of Bollywood film ‘Padmavati’

SC refuses to stay release of Bollywood film PadmavatiNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the release of Bollywood film ‘Padmavati’ starring Deepika Padukone in the lead role, saying the Censor Board was yet to certify the movie.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, at the outset, enquired whether the Censor Board has issued the certification to the movie or not.

“Has the film been placed before the Censor Board? Has the Censor Board certified the film,” the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked from the counsel for petitioners.

On being intimated that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was yet to certify the movie, the bench said “this court should not exercise its writ jurisdiction in such a situation”.

The top court said there were several guidelines for the CBFC to grant certification to a movie and, in addition, there was the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to look into the grievances over a film.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Siddharajsinh Mahavirsinh Chudasama and 11 others against the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed ‘Padmavati’ which also stars Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor in the lead roles. The film is likely to hit theatres on December 1.

Besides seeking a stay on the release of the movie, the plea has also sought setting up of a committee of eminent historians to check the veracity of the script to prevent any inaccuracy in portrayal of Rani Padmavati.

It has pleaded that the film should not be allowed to be released till such time that the historical inaccuracies in it are corrected by the producer and the director.

The plea has said that the war saga was based on the historic battle of 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.

Padmavati, the queen of Mewar and several Rajput women had sacrificed their lives by committing ‘jauhar’ (, the plea said, adding that the movie distorted some historical facts “hurting the sentiments of Kshatriya community”. Jauhar used to be an age-old practice of mass self-immolation by women in parts of India to avoid capture or rape by foreign invaders.

“The trailers show Rani Padmavati doing a ‘ghoomar’ dance. The depiction of Rani Padmavati in the said dance sequence is contrary to how traditionally ‘ghoomar’ is performed…,” the plea alleged.

It also said that Bhansali has not been “averse to generating controversy” in the shooting of a film to create interest in it.-PTI

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