The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to modify its order lifting the ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat in four states.
The governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh had moved the court on Monday after the bench overturned their earlier order. The governments of Haryana and Gujarat, too, had said they would not allow Padmaavat to be screened. In its January 18 order, the Supreme Court had said maintaining law and order was the state’s job, not the judiciary’s.
On Tuesday, the counsel for the Rajasthan government, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, argued in court that they were not seeking a ban on the movie entirely, but were seeking to have the Supreme Court’s order modified.
In response, the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said observed: “People must understand that there is a statutory body [that certified the movie], and we, too, passed an order. Better abide by it. Don’t watch the movie if you don’t want to, but there cannot be a ban on screening.”
After refusing to change it order, it said, “States must ensure that law and order prevails.”
Padmaavat is scheduled for release on Thursday.
Padmaavat’s release and certification were delayed and stalled because of repeated protests and threats of violence by Rajput groups led by the Rajput Karni Sena. After a year of opposing the film, the group on Monday said it was willing to watch the movie before its release.
Through Monday, there were protests against the historical drama in several areas in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Noida.