The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected pleas filed by the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and Karni Sena seeking review of its January 18 order allowing pan-India release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film ‘Padmaavat’ on January 25.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, had paved the way for the nationwide release of 'Padmaavat' on January 25 by staying the ban on the screening in states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
"People must understand that the Supreme Court has passed an order. They must abide by it. It is the obligation of the states to maintain law and order," the bench also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.
"We are not inclined to modify our order," the bench said while dismissing the plea.
It asked the states to follow its order and gave them the liberty to approach it again "if the situation arises".
The bench also dismissed the applications filed by Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena, which has been staging protest in several states against the release of the movie, and Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha, seeking to stall the exhibition of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie.
The apex court had earlier restrained other states from issuing any ban orders on the Deepika Padukone-starrer movie.
Maintaining that states were under constitutional obligation to maintain law and order, the top court had said this duty also included providing police protection to persons involved in the film, its exhibition and the audience.
Earlier today, the Shree Rajput Karni Sena, the fringe group spearheading the protests against the release of film, followed the two states to move the top court seeking ban on pan-India release of Padmaavat.
The move by the Karni Sena comes a day after the fringe group said that it was ready to watch the periodic drama ahead of the release on the invitation of Bhansali productions.
The Supreme Court had on January 18 paved the way for the nationwide release of 'Padmaavat' by staying the ban on its screening in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The states have claimed that Section 6 of the Cinematograph Act empowers them to stop exhibition of any controversial move on the grounds of possible violation of law and order.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Viacom 18 the producers of the Deepika Padukone-starrer, opposed urgent hearing on any such interim applications.
The court, however, agreed to hear the applications on Tuesday.
The apex court also restrained other states from issuing any such notification or order banning the screening of the movie.
The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles, is based on the saga of historic battle of 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.
Haryana and Madhya Pradesh governments have not issued any formal order but had stated that they would not allow the exhibition of the film.
Maintaining that states were under constitutional obligation to maintain law and order, the apex court had said that this duty also includes providing police protection to persons who are involved in the film, its exhibition and the audience watching it.