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Padmavati row: Let CBFC certify says Supreme Court, rejects plea for ban

The court rejected the plea by advocate ML Sharma who had asked the court to intervene and suggest deletions of 'objectionable scenes' in the film.

Our Correspondent

The Supreme Court dismissed a plea to delete 'objectionable scenes' from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati suggesting that it is the 'statutory duty' of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), and not the court. The three member bench led by chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, dismissed the plea, and refused to initiate criminal proceedings against Bhansali.

Chief justice Misra said, "Can the Supreme Court intervene to stop a movie? The CBFC has a statutory duty. Can this court injunct a statutory board from doing its duty?" The court implied that any interventions on its behalf would be 'tantamount to pre-judging the matter.'

The court even slammed petitioners for filing presumptory petitions against the film, saying, "All this happens because people do not read the Cinematograph Act and rules."

Justice Misra also added that the process of certification is done after a lot of debate over the issues in the film. He said, "Five members see a movie. Once they see it, they discuss it among themselves and suggest cuts. Before they do anything, they give the filmmakers an opportunity to be heard to convince them not to cut the scenes in question,"

The petitioner, ML Sharma had informed the court that the filmmakers had allegedly indulged in 'character assassination' of the legendary queen, Padmavati. He said that the film shows the queen dancing and singing, whereas 'The Queen was not a dancer. She was a warrior’s wife and a warrior herself."

The petitioner also argued that the filmmakers have released the songs without CBFC certification.

The court, however, struck down several of the petitioner's pleas on the grounds of being offensive. It said, "Pleadings in a court are not meant to create any kind of disharmony in a society which believes in the concept of unity in diversity."

This is the second such plea to be dismissed by the Supreme Court over Padmavati.

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