Issuing notices to the Delhi and Punjab governments and the union territory of Chandigarh, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir asked, "There has been no ban on screening of the film in other states. Why has the ban been imposed only in Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh?"
Advocate Wasim Ahmed Qadri, appearing for the Delhi government, said the ban was only in these states/UT as the screening of the film could affect a section of population belonging to a particular community, which is quite sizeable, and there could have been consequential fallouts on peace and tranquillity.
The screening of the film was stayed on April 4, a day before its scheduled release.
The court was hearing the plea of Vital Media, the film's producer, which assailed the ban imposed on the movie even after the storyline was okayed for screening by the Central Board of Film Certification.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the producer, recalled that the apex court bench had in the past quashed the Uttar Pradesh government's order suspending the screening of Prakash Jha's film 'Aarakshan'.
Qadri urged the court not to pass any interim order on the plea by the petitioner (Vital Media).