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‘Padmaavat’ producers go to court against bans

Various Indian states have imposed a ban against the controversial Bollywood film

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear the plea of producers of controversial Bollywood movie Padmavaat against the ban imposed on its release by various state governments.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud considered the submission of the counsel of the producer that the matter be heard urgently in view of the ban on its release by various state governments.

Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have banned the movie citing law and order issues.

The movie is scheduled to be released on January 25.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat was banned on Tuesday by Haryana’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, even as massive protests against the movie’s upcoming release continued in Rajasthan.

The decision to ban the film was taken on Tuesday at a meeting of the Haryana cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Padmaavat is already banned in Rajasthan and Gujarat, both ruled by the BJP.

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij tweeted about the ban being imposed on the movie which is set to release nationwide on January 25.

“Film Padmavati/Padmavat banned in Haryana,” Vij wrote on Twitter.

Vij took up the issue regarding the impending release of the film and said the Rajput community in the state was against the film. He said the entire cabinet supported him on the move to impose a ban on screening of the film in Haryana.

The film, cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification with U/A certificate, has been caught in a row over claims by Rajput groups backed by a section of the BJP that it distorts history.

Shree Rajput Karni Sena, at the forefront of the protests, has demanded a nationwide ban on the film.

On Tuesday, Karni Sena members took out a massive rally led by its chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi in Dholpur, Rajasthan to protest against the Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor feature.

“Dholpur was chosen as the location for the show of strength as it is situated on the Uttar Pradesh border. We want the Yogi Adityanath government in UP to ban the film as Haryana government has already declared its ban in their state,” a senior member of Karni Sena said.

The spokesperson said a huge protest is also being planned at Jantar Mantar in Delhi from January 22.

On their part, Padmaavat’s producers have said the film is based on Padmavat, a poem by Sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi, in an ode to the famed valour, legacy and courage of Rajputs, and portrays Rani Padmavati with utmost respect.