SC declines early hearing on plea against 'Padmaavat'
| Jan. 19, 2018, 6:24 p.m.
New Delhi, Jan 19: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to hold an early hearing on a plea challenging the grant of U/A certificate to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film "Padmaavat" by the Censor Board.
Referring to its Thursday's order refraining states from standing in the way of the movie's January 25 release, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said they would hear the matter when it comes up in the normal course.
Lawyer M.L. Sharma had moved the court challenging the grant of Censor Board certificate to "Padmaavat" which its critics say distorts historical facts.
While staying the "notifications and orders" banning the release of the controversial film by the Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan governments, the top court said the remaining states will not do anything to obstruct the release of the film.
It also reminded the states that maintaining law and order was their responsibility and it should discharge it if any attempt was made by the "self-appointed guardians of history" to obstruct the screening of the film.
Earlier in November last year, the top court while rejecting the plea seeking to block the release of the film "An Insignificant Man", based on AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, had said, "Courts should be extremely slow in passing restrain order" as there can't be curbs on the freedom of speech and expression.
Observing that the filmmakers and writers should be allowed to enjoy the freedom of speech and expression, the court had said that all the creators have a right to enjoy their works in the production of films and dramas.
Way back on January 13, 2012, while slamming the Tamil Nadu government for banning the screening of the film "Dam 999", Justice Asok Ganguly (since retired) heading the top court bench had said, "The law is clear and the freedom of speech and expression has to be protected. If you are apprehending the breach of peace and law and order it is your duty to take steps to prevent