The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for blocking the release of film "Nanak Shah Fakir". The film based on first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, is set for release on Friday. The court will take up the matter on Monday. The matter was once mentioned again when court assembled in the post-lunch sitting. Senior counsel P.S. Patwalia told the court that hearing the SGPC plea on Monday would be of no consequence as the film was going to be released on Friday.
However, the court refused to advance the date of hearing to Friday (April 13).
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told petitioner Satinder Singh Gulati that the Central Board of Film Certification had cleared the film for release and it can't be objected to without taking recourse to lawful means.
It also said that outsiders cannot control freedom of expression of an artist. Gulati told the court that by a 2003 resolution, the SGPC has said that no one can act as any of the 10 Sikh Gurus, their family members and the 'Panj Pyaras' (five beloved of the Guru).
He mentioned the plea for an urgent hearing. The apex court was also told that till date -- in the last 550 years -- no one has portrayed the role of the 10 Sikh Gurus. Gulati urged the court to hear the matter on Friday, but Chief Justice Misra said: "We will take it up on Monday."
The Supreme Court had directed the states on April 10 to ensure that there was no opposition to the release of "Nanak Shah Fakir", saying "wherever the film is released, the law and order is maintained and no one shall be allowed to create any kind of disturbance".