Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt on June 1 filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the police chief of Gujarat to take steps for the peaceful screening of the film Fanaa in the state.

A mention of this petition was made before a vacation bench of judges Arijit Pasayat and CK Thakker.

The plea will be heard in the due course, the judges said. Activists of Gujarat’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have prevented the screening of the film following lead actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on the Narmada dam. While the project is seen as a lifeline for drought-prone parts of the state, Khan had voiced his concern for farmers and tribals whose lands would be submerged due to the dam. The BJP had asked him to apologise to the people of Gujarat for his remarks on Narmada. Khan refused saying he would continue to speak for the poor and the marginalised sections of the society.

Bollywood bigwigs including Amitabh Bachchan have defended Khan saying freedom of expression cannot be curtailed in a democratic society.