Padmavati: Rajput group threatens protests in UK, makers say no release for film abroad on Dec 1

															Padmavati was removed from its December 1 release date following mass protests.

The announcement that Padmavati had been cleared for release in the UK was met with a swift petition to delay the film’s release abroad until such time as it is cleared for release in India, and a protest by a Britain-based Rajput group.

The British Board of Film Certification Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epic historical film Padmavati for release on December 1 earlier this week. The announcement was met with a swift petition in the Supreme Court to delay the film’s release abroad until such time as it is cleared for release in India, and a protest by a Britain-based Rajput group.

Several fringe outfits have been protesting the release of the film, alleging that it distorts historical fact, and its depiction of Queen Padmavati (played by Deepika Padukone) may cause offence to the Rajput community. Several states such as UP, MP and Rajasthan have effectively ‘banned’ the film until the protests die down. While the Central Board of Film Certification has yet to clear the film, the BBFC’s decision didn’t go down too well with Rajput Samaj UK.

Lokendra Singh Kalvi, Founder, Shree Rajput Karni Sena along with his supporter during a press conference on objection of Rajput Community on Sanjay Leela Bhansali's upcoming film, Padmavati. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Mahendrasinh Jadeja, the group’s president, told the Hindu, “We believe it will have great community impact.” The group is seeking a stay on the film’s release, was considering further action including protests. “We want an assurance that this film will not be released until the decision is made in India,” he continued.

Several British cinemas have already begun listing the film on their schedules, however, no firm dates have yet been mentioned.

Earlier this week, Viacom 18, the studio behind the big-budget film, issued a statement. “We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film,” they said. The Supreme Court will hear an advocate’s plea against the release of the film in foreign countries on Tuesday, November 28.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would hear on Tuesday the plea that alleged that the makers of Padmavati misrepresented facts with regard to the censor board's approval on releasing songs and the promo.

"We will take it up on Tuesday. You (advocate) file a writ petition," the bench told advocate M L Sharma who mentioned his fresh plea for an urgent hearing. Sharma also alleged that grave damage will be done to social harmony if the movie was allowed to be released outside India.

He sought criminal prosecution of the makers of the movie for allegedly misrepresenting facts that the songs and promos were cleared by the CBFC. The apex court had earlier dismissed his plea seeking to delete certain alleged objectionable scenes. It had observed that the CBFC had not yet certified the movie and the apex court could not "injunct" a statutory body from doing its duty.

A functionary at Viacom 18 said there was no plan to release the film globally without it being cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). "The film was cleared by the UK censor board without any cuts. But we are waiting for censor clearance in India. Till then we will not release the film anywhere," a source told PTI.

As the film was supposed to be released on December 1, there are over 50 countries where this process (of certification) is on, he said.

Rajasthan accepts complaint against Padmavati

A Rajasthan court on Thursday accepted a complaint against filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actors Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and others in regard to ongoing controversy relating to their forthcoming film, Padmavati.

The court has not directly sent the complaint to police for registration of FIR but has asked for recording of statement of the complainant. "The court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate while accepting the complaint has said that it will record my statement on November 27 under Section 200 of Cr.P.C.," complainant Bhawani Shankar Sharma told IANS.

The court on Wednesday had completed hearing on the matter and deferred the order till Thursday.

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First Published: Nov 24, 2017 11:17 IST

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