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Indian court paves way for ‘Padmaavat’ all-India release on 25 Jan

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GBnews24 desk || The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the ban on the release of the film ‘Padmaavat’ imposed by four states, allowing for an all-India release on January 25, reports the Times of India.

In its order, the SC also restrained other states from issuing such a ban on the exhibition of the film. It stated that all states are constitutionally obliged to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incidents during the film’s screening across India.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud observed that the film was cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with a U/A certificate for an all-Indian screening after keeping in mind the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, which prohibits scenes that denigrate women.

It upheld the petitioners’ contention that the film formed a part of the filmmaker’s freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution.

It said that cinemas are an inseparable part of the right to free speech and expression through the medium of celluloid.

Appearing for the film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, senior advocate Harish Salve took advantage of a 2011 judgment of the SC that allowed the screening of Prakash Jha’s controversial film ‘Aarakshan’.

The matter was posted for further hearing on March 26.

The apex court heard a plea by the film’s makers against the governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana, which had banned the film’s release, even after it cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).