Producers of Bollywood film Padmaavat, Viacom18, on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the ban on its screening by four states across the country. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case on Thursday, Bar and Bench reported.
The movie, which was originally slated to be released on December 1, is now scheduled for release on January 25.
On Tuesday, Haryana banned the film citing law and order reasons. It was the fourth state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party to ban the historical drama. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said on January 12 that their governments would not allow the release of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-director film. Rajasthan had said on January 9 that theatres across the state will not screen the film.
The Goa Police have also asked the Manohar Parrikar-led government to not allow the screening of the movie.
There were also reports of the Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh governments banning the film. But Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adtiyanath on Sunday was non-committal about it. “I am not a future teller,” he said when reporters asked him if the movie would be screened in Uttar Pradesh. Himachal Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had said on Sunday that the state will not ban the film if there is nothing controversial in it.
Padmaavat, which has also been converted to 3D, was originally slated to be released on December 1. 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, headed by Prasoon Joshi, 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.