Mumbai, Aug 9: In a relief for filmmaker Prakash Jha, the Bombay High Court today refused to stay the release of his film ‘Aarakshan' and said there will be no special screening for anybody before its release on Friday.
A division bench of Justices D D Sinha and A R Joshi passed the order while hearing a petition filed by two advocates seeking a preview of the film, claiming it was anti-reservation and could disturb peace and harmony.
“We are of the view that the petitioner's prayers for special screening of the movie before its release is totally misconceived and wrong. Hence we are rejecting it,” Justice Sinha said and adjourned the matter for further hearing on August 22.
The court also refused to stay the release of the movie on August 12 as sought by Advocate Sanghraj Rupwate, who appeared for the petitioners.
“It is not right to impose restraint on the movie's release. There is no ground to do so,” the court observed. Additional government pleader Vijay Patil had earlier informed the court that the state government was well equipped to handle any law and order problem, if any, after the release of the film.
The movie has faced a flurry of protests by several political leaders in Maharashtra including state minister Chhagan Bhujbal of NCP and RPI (Athavale) chief Ramdas Athavale, besides the National Commission for Secheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes over its alleged anti-quota stance.
Jha, in his affidavit, has refuted allegations that the movie was anti-reservation or anti-dalit.
Rajeev Chavan, counsel for the Central Board of Film Certification informed the court that the petitioners have failed to provide any basis for their apprehension that there would be law and order problem after its release. PTI