A democratic nation is true in its sense when countrymen have right to speech. They should be able to form their opinions, ideas, and convictions and circulate them to masses. Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution provides “Freedom of Speech & Expression” subjected to reasonable restrictions as provided under Article 19(2) of the Constitution. Freedom of Press is included within ambit of Article 19(1) (a). Circulation of views through films is also one of the forms of expression.
The Cinematograph Act, 1952 provides examination of films and providing certificates like ‘U’, ‘A’, ‘U/A’, ‘S’. The film ‘Padmavat’ is basically the story of Rani Padmavati, a Rajput Queen. She performed ‘Johar’ and thus, warrior in true spirit. But, the film contained some scenes which were objected by Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena. The Censor Board asked film director to cut those scenes. The required changes were made and film was provided with certificate to be released in cinema halls. But, Rajput Karni Sena extorted the cinema owners to not to screen the film in their cinema halls.
The Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana government put the ban on film release in their respective states. The issue went up to Supreme Court. The Apex Court said that if film is been given certificate by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) after proper examination then the court can’t interfere in it. The ban put by governments was declared void.
The Supreme Court rejected the review petitions of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Rajput Karni Sena and strictly instructed that film to be released in all states. It said that states have to maintain law and order and provide security to film actors and viewers. The order has to be followed to maintain sanctity of the authority. If people don’t like the film then they should not view it. The film will be released in all states on the day fixed i.e. 25 January.
The Rajput Karni Sena chief, Lokendra Singh Kalvi said that there will be a ‘janta curfew’ across the country if movie would be released and film director would be wholly responsible for the consequences.
The Supreme Court mentioned that if cinema owners don’t want to screen the film then court will not force them. But if they are willing to screen then the state should provide security to them and maintain law and order.
Manas Bulchandani, Student Reporter