NEW DELHI: TheSupreme Court
dismissed on Friday a PIL filed by a group of people from the Rajput community seeking a stay on the release ofSanjay Leela Bhansali
‘s period film ‘Padmavati’ for allegedly hurting their sentiments by “distorting and twisting historical facts”.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said the petition was premature as the film was yet to be certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). It said the board had the statutory powers to examine the film before it was released for public screening, and the court could not interfere when the CBFC had not cleared the film.
In the PIL, the petitioners pleaded that the court intervene, saying the film-makers’ “wrong depiction” of Rani Padmavati in the movie had caused widespread anger among the Rajput community, and the film’s screening in its present form would cause a law and order problem.
They contended that, in the “garb of creativity, the producers had taken undue liberty and completely changed the historical facts, which was highly objectionable”. They submitted that the portrayal of “historical legends” had to be done in an accurate manner and “creativity could not be used as a pretext to malign or sully their image”.
“Rani Padmavati was known for her pious lifestyle and her character was beyond reproach, but in order to serve the prurient interest of a certain section of the audience, the film-makers have shown the queen to dream about Ala-ud-din Khilji and being in love with him. It is reprehensible that in order to earn some profit, the producers have stooped to such a level wherein they have stopped caring about our rich cultural history and indulged in her character assassination. This has created great angst among Hindus in general and the Rajput community in particular,” the petition said.
But the bench refused to entertain the petition and said if anyone was aggrieved by the Censor Board’s decision to grant certification to a particular film, he/she could approach the film certification appellate board. A person could not directly approach the HCs or SC for a stay on release, it added. “The SC cannot usurp the statutory powers vested in the Censor Board or tribunal,” the bench said.