The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday issued a contempt notice to Central Board of Film Certification Chairperson Prasoon Joshi in connection with a petition against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, PTI reported.
The petitioner had filed a Public Interest Litigation in November 2017, seeking a ban on the movie for allegedly promoting Sati – the practice of a widow immolating herself in her husband’s funeral pyre. While the High Court had dismissed the plea, it had asked the petitioner to approach the censor board, giving the CBFC three weeks to respond to the petitioner’s representation.
Joshi has not responded to their representation yet. The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday issued the contempt notice against him and gave him another three weeks to respond to the petitioner before the next hearing on February 12.
Padmaavat was originally slated to be released on December 1. After much opposition, it will hit the screens on January 25.
Repeated protests and threats of violence by Rajput groups, led by the Rajput Karni Sena, stalled the movie’s release and delayed its certification. The censor board had appointed a panel of historians to look into the claim that the film contains historical inaccuracies. The movie was finally cleared with a few changes on the condition that Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures change the title from Padmavati to Padmaavat to align it closer to its source material.
Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, the historical drama is based on the 16th Century poem of the same name by Malik Muhammad Jaisi. Relying on folklore, legend, history and the imagination, Padmaavat explores Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji’s lust for Chittor queen Padmini, which leads to a battle that claims the lives of the queen and her husband Ratansen.
Padmini is widely thought to be a fictional character, and Padmaavat is a romanticised account of the battle in Chittor. The story has been widely adapted for the screen, including by Hindi and Tamil producers and for television, without any incident in the past.