The Madras high court on Monday told actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan to explore all options in finding an "amicable" solution to the row over the ban on the screening of his controversial film Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu.
The suggestion was made by the court even as it deferred till Tuesday its order on Haasan's plea challenging the Tamil Nadu government's ban on release of the mega-budget spy thriller, which has been objected to by Muslim groups.
As the court met to decide on the plea, Haasan's counsel filed petitions challenging prohibitory orders imposed by District Collectors' under Section 144 of CrPC across the state and sought hearing on it along with the main case. Deferring the matter till Tuesday, Justice K Venkataraman, who had watched the movie on Saturday, suggested that the petitioner "explore all possibilities" to find an "amicable" solution to the issue with the government.
The judge suggested to the petitioner to "keep in mind, the law and order situation in the country... unity of the nation... because of this there should not be any disharmony among the communities... That is the primary consideration.."
Talking to reporters outside the court, petitioner's counsel P S Raman said, "We challenged the District Collectors' orders and sought to be heard along with the main petition."
On the court's advice for an amicable situation, Raman said, "The court only made an observation that since Kamal Haasan has returned to town, he can try to find a compromise. That is not a court order. You shall not consider it a court order."
"We have got some 7-8 orders (District Collectors'), we are challenging only them now. The rest we can challenge only after we receive it... We are going to do separately for Puducherry," he said. The court, on January 24, had declined to grant any interim stay on the two-week ban imposed on the movie that has angered Muslim outfits who claim it depicts their community in a negative light.
Talking to reporters outside the court, Haasan's brother Chandra Haasan said he believed the film in no way hurts sentiments of Muslims. "Even at the time of making the movie, we were sure that it wouldn't affect the sentiment of any community," he said.