The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government asking them to respond to filmmaker Prakash Jha's petition challenging the Mayawati government's decision to ban screening of 'Aarakshan'.
A bench headed by justice Mukundkam Sharma asked them to file their response by Friday and fixed August 19 as the date of hearing.
Jha's film was banned by UP, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. While UP had on August 10 banned the film for two months citing law and order problem, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh later lifted the ban.
Jha had asked if state governments could override the permission granted by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to exhibit a movie.
His petition contended the decision by the governments of UP, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh was due to political reasons and it violated the fundamental right to speech and expression.
Jha said the examining committee of CBFC, which cleared the film for exhibition,
comprised members drawn from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and other backward castes and the ban by the three states is “biased and arbitrary”.