The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking a stay on the screening of actor-director Kamal Hassan's magnum opus "Dasavatharam," slated for release on Friday.
A vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and PP Naolekar, rejected the plea to ban the allegedly blasphemous film on the ground that the petitioners had not seen the film before filing the petition.
"Did you watch the movie? Then how can you file the petition?" the bench repeatedly queried the petitioners R Bakthavatsalam and Swami Govinda Ramanuja Dasa from Chennai who alleged that the film would hurt religious sentiments of 50 crore Vaishnavites.
The bench refused to accept the petitioners' plea that they had filed the petition after watching the film's trailer, which according to them was blasphemous.
However, the apex court said the petitioners would be at liberty to approach the Madras High Court, if they found anything blasphemous in the film after watching the entire film.
The apex court while dismissing the petition took into consideration the counter affidavit filed in the Madras High Court by the filmmaker that there was nothing objectionable in the film to hurt the sentiments of any community.
The petitioners had submitted that if the film was allowed to be screened without censoring the "objectionable" portions, it would hurt the religious sentiments of 50 crore Vaishnavites and create a law and order problem in the country.
Earlier, the Madras High Court had dismissed the plea following which the petitioners appealed in the apex court.
It was alleged by the petitioners that the film "Dasavatharam" projected clashes between Saivaites (those who worship Lord Shiva) and Vaishnavites (worshippers of Lord Vishnu). The violence could hurt the religious feelings and sentiments of Hindus.
The petitioner had contended that the movie had scenes that offended Hindu sentiments, particularly that of Vaishnavites.
The petition was based on trailers of the movie shown on a private Tamil television channel.