SC rejects plea to stay release of 'Padmaavat'

A day after clearing decks for all India release of 'Padmaavat' on January 25, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea to cancel the CBFC nod to the controversial film on the ground of serious threat to life, property and law and order.

"We have passed a reasoned order (on Thursday). Maintaining law and order is not our job. We have to function as constitutional court," a three-judge presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra told advocate M L Sharma.

The counsel sought direction to cancel the U/A certificate granted by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to Deepika Padukone-starrer 'Padmaavat' on various grounds including the provisions of the Cinematograph Act.

"The CBFC has already granted certificate to the film. The producer and director have carried out some cuts as well," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

Sharma wanted permission to file a fresh PIL, contending that it has to be urgently considered. He said the release of the film scheduled for January 25 must be stayed as the CBFC did not consider the provisions of the law, that mandated that no permission can be granted to such a film which may cause breach of peace. The court had earlier on two occasions declined to entertain his plea.

"If there would be incidents like burning down of cinema halls or large scale riots, who will be responsible," he asked.

The bench, however, remained firm. "We cannot hold re-hearing in the matter," the bench said and rejected Sharma's plea.

The court had on Thursday stayed the orders passed by Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, banning the release of the film in view of protests made by several groups from Rajput community over what they perceived as "improper" portrayal of 13th century queen 'Padmavati', who committed 'johar' (suicide) following battle of Maharaja Ratan Singh with Allauddin Khilji. The producer, for their part, claimed the film was based on poem 'Padmaavat' written by Malik Mohd Jayasi.

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