HC order on Kamal film today

The Madras High Court has deferred till Tuesday its order on actor-director Kamal Haasan’s plea challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s ban on his latest venture Vishwaroopam. The film landed in trouble after several Muslim organisations and political parties alleged that its contents denigrated the community.

Justice K Venkatraman, who watched the film here on Saturday, deferred the order after Haasan’s counsels sought to enlarge the scope of their petition. P S  Raman, senior counsel appearing for Haasan, told reporters that he had apprised the judge of over 30 separate executive orders issued by district collectors to theatre owners, restraining them from screening Vishwaroopam under Section 144 of the CrPC.

Raman said: “We want to challenge all these orders individually.” He urged the court to consider them along with the petition filed by Haasan last Thursday, challenging the ban on the movie’s screening in Tamil Nadu. The prayers in Haasan’s petition were not properly framed, sources said.

A lawyer said the court on Monday suggested that concerns of both sides — the state, which apprehends a law and order situation, and Haasan, who had invested a fortune — be balanced.

Chandra Haasan, another counsel for the actor, said the court suggested that Haasan take into account factors like the “state’s apprehensions about law and order and the country’s unity.” He should make efforts to reach “some sort of a settlement” with the authorities.

Disclosing that Haasan returned from the US on Monday, Chandra Haasan said he will brief the thespian on the developments.

The film’s producer, Raj Kamal Films, have incurred losses to the tune of several crores due to the ban in Tamil Nadu and subsequent hiccups in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Chandra Haasan said, adding that the exact loss was yet to be ascertained.

Responding to queries on whether some alterations could be made to make the film more palatable, Chandra Haasan said: “It is the writer-director’s prerogative whether to cut or not. Kamal Haasan has only two options, to appeal to the state to reconsider the ban or appeal to the courts.”

It was not clear whether Kamal Haasan will meet Chief Minister J Jayalaitha to discuss ways out of the imbroglio.

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