Leaders must not comment on Padmavati, asserts SC

Leaders must not comment on Padmavati, asserts SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned those holding high public offices for making remarks against Hindi film Padmavati, even though it is yet to be certified by the Central Board of Film Certification.

Doing so would violate the rule of the law. Everybody must be guided by the basic tenet of plural society,  the court said.

"We are not talking about citizens' right to comment. Why should people in responsible posts make comments on it? Don't create any kind of disharmony. This must stop," a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

The court's observations came as a rebuke to chief ministers and others who spoke against the film.

The chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have said they will not allow the film to release even if it is cleared by the board. Congress chief ministers of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh,  too, opposed the film.

Several fringe groups have led protests against the film, citing objections to certain scenes between Padmavati, played by Deepika Padukone, and Alauddin Khilji, portrayed by Ranveer Singh. They  even threatened to harm Deepika.

Taking up a PIL filed by advocate M L Sharma, the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked Additional Solicitors General, Maninder Singh and P S Narasimha,  whether people holding public office were authorised  to speak about the film.

"The issue is very, very vital. We have not seen the movie. It has to be presented before the CBFC, which will deal with it with utmost objectivity." the bench said.  

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