Padmaavat row: SC to hear contempt plea against 5 states, Karni Sena for violence

Last Updated 25 January 2018, 14:00 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to consider on January 29 a couple of petitions seeking contempt action against state officials and other groups for wilful disobedience of the January 18 order for release of the film Padmaavat.

A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Dipak Misra put separate contempt petitions filed by Congress sympathiser Tehseen Poonawalla and advocate Vineet Dhanda for hearing on Monday.

The petitions were mentioned for urgent hearing before the bench also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

Poonawalla sought contempt actions against top officials of the Union home ministry and the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat for their "inefficient management of public order" in different cities allowing belligerent Karni Sena to carry out disruptive activities.

His plea also cited failure to make arrests and record FIRs against known offenders belonging to the Karni Sena for committing a flagrant violation of public security by blocking roads, torching public buses and cars, vandalising shops, malls and attacking a school bus with children in Gurugram.

He also claimed the state officials had issued orders prohibiting exhibition of the film, citing apprehension of severe damage to public order and tranquility.

However, the apex court in its order on January 18, held that creative arts were an indivisible part of the rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution.

Dhanda's petition filed by advocate J P Dhanda sought contempt actions against Lokendra Singh Kalvi and other leaders of Rajput organisation Karni Sena.

Meanwhile, a Rajasthan-based group, Jauhar Smriti Sansthan approached the Delhi High Court for quashing of U/A certificate granted to the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film by the CBFC.

The high court declined to consider the plea in view of the apex court's order.

(Published 25 January 2018, 13:56 IST)

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