The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma seeking to stall the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati, ANI reported. The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, has been in the midst of a controversy since January, with Rajput groups and others accusing Bhansali of distorting history.

The Supreme Court criticised those holding power or public offices who have commented about the movie while it is still pending before the Central Board of Film Certification. “It will prejudice decision making of the CBFC,” the Supreme Court said. “All concerned people, holding responsible posts must be guided by rule of law and should not venture into passing comments on films which have not been cleared by the CBFC.”

The Supreme Court’s observations come after ministers of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have demanded that Padmavati be banned or not released until changes are made. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that the state government will not take a decision until the censor board has given its decision.

However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah have openly supported the film.

The controversy

In the past few weeks, Padukone and Bhansali have received a number of threats. Mahipal Singh Makrana, Rajput Karni Sena’s state president, openly threatened to chop off Padukone’s nose for her role in the film. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief media coordinator for Haryana, Suraj Pal Amu, announced a Rs 10-crore reward for anyone who beheads Padukone and Bhansali.

After these threats, Viacom18 Motion Pictures – the co-producers of Padmavati – said they had decided to “voluntarily defer” its release. The movie was scheduled to be out on December 1.