Padmaavat row: Supreme Court to hear contempt plea against 4 states

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New Delhi | Published: January 26, 2018 8:07:46 AM

The Deepika Padukone-starrer 'Padmaavat', based on the saga of a historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi, has Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.

Padmaavat row, Supreme CourtPadmaavat row: Supreme Court to hear contempt plea against 4 states

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on Monday two pleas seeking contempt action against four state governments and Shree Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena for allegedly violating its order allowing nationwide release of the controversial movie ‘Padmaavat’. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which had set aside the ban imposed on the film by some states on January 18, said it would consider all the fresh pleas on January 29. Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawala, in his plea, has said the governments of Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh “continue to allow disruptive activities of the Karni Sena and in not effectively cracking down upon their actions of violent hooliganism across the states named …, do not honour the judgement and order of this court.” Besides initiating contempt proceedings against four states, he has also sought a direction to their governments to “actively control the law and order situation and to restore public peace and tranquillity”.

The Deepika Padukone-starrer ‘Padmaavat’, based on the saga of a historic 13th century battle between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi, has Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles. It hit theatres across India on Thursday. A similar plea was also filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda seeking contempt action against Karni Sena’s founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi, Sooraj Pal, National President of Sena and Karan Singh, an activist of the Rajput organisation. Referring to the recent violent incidents, allegedly committed by members of the Karni Sena, the lawyer said the members of the outfit have been indulging in “deliberate and defiant violation” of the apex court order that had made clear that no one can ban the movie once it is certified by the statutory body, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Poonawala, in his plea, has accused four state governments of “inefficient management of public order in the cities where the belligerent Karni Sena is carrying out disruptive activities”. The plea has also alleged that failure to make arrests and lodge FIRs against known “offenders belonging to the Karni Sena, who are committing a flagrant violation of public security by blocking roads, torching public buses and cars, vandalising shops and malls and attacking a school bus with children in close proximity” constituted contempt of court. To buttress the case, the plea referred to the incidents of vandalism and arson of shops and malls in Ahmedabad on January 23 and the stone pelting at a school bus in Gurgaon.

The cases for and against ‘Padmaavat’ in the apex court since last November has made it the most contested film ever in a court of law. Initially, the apex court had trashed several petitions seeking a stay on ‘Padmaavat’s’ release on various grounds. Then the producers had moved the court after certain states banned the movie. The court, on January 18, had set aside the ban and restrained other states from banning the movie, paving way for its all-India release today. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh had moved the apex court seeking recall of the SC order, which was dismissed on January 23.

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