In a big victory to free speech and independence of Indian filmmakers, the Indian Supreme Court has cleared all hurdles for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati despite sporadic protests in some part of the country.
The highest court of India discarded a petition last Friday that requested it to stop the film's release. The Indian Supreme Court said that such petitions cannot be entertained. An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay of the release of the film after it enquired at the outset as to whether or not the Censor Board has issued the certification. "Has the film been placed before the Censor Board? Has the Censor Board certified the film," the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked from the counsel for petitioners.
On being intimated that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was yet to certify the movie, the bench said, "this court should not exercise its jurisdiction in such situation". The court also said that there were several guidelines for the CBFC in granting certification to a movie and moreover, there is Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to look into grievances regarding a film.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by Siddharajsinh Mahavirsinh Chudasama and 11 others against the film. Besides seeking a stay on the release of the movie, the plea had also sought setting up of a committee of eminent historians to check the veracity of the script to prevent any inaccuracy in portrayal of Rani Padmavati. It was also contended that the film be not allowed to be released till such time any historical inaccuracies in the movie are corrected by the producer and the director.
That part of the plea was also not entertained.