India's top court: states cannot re-instate ban on release of controversial film

MUMBAI: India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday did not allow two states to re-instate a ban on the release of controversial Bollywood film “Padmaavat”, saying it stood by its previous ruling clearing the way for the movie to be shown in theaters.

On Monday, the central state of Madhya Pradesh and the northwestern state of Rajasthan, both ruled by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had sought to re-instate a ban on the film and asked the court to reconsider its previous ruling clearing its release.

The government of Rajasthan had argued it wanted to avoid public unrest by banning the film after groups critical of the project accused its director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, of distorting history by portraying a Muslim ruler as the “lover” of Queen Padmavati of the Hindu Rajput warrior clan.

“We are not going to modify our earlier order,” the three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said on Tuesday.

“States must ensure that law and order must prevail,” Misra added.