Movie production major United Television (UTV) moved the Supreme Court on Monday to lift a ban imposed by Uttar Pradesh on Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar.
UTV is the producer of the movie that has been dogged by controversy even before its release. The company has pleaded before the court that the ground on which state governments are issuing orders against its release is illegal. According to UTV, Jodha Akbar has been solely made for the “purpose of healthy entertainment” and “does not claim to be historically accurate”.
“The said declaration is expressly incorporated at the very beginning of the film,” the petitioner said. Protests were witnessed in various parts of Rajasthan, accusing Gowariker of twisting historical facts. Protestors say Jodha, as portrayed in the film, was not Akbar’s wife but his daughter-in-law.
Apprehending a “law and order problem” some states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, had banned the screening of the film. While the governments of MP and UP ordered a complete ban, Haryana banned it in select cities.
Although the company got a favourable order from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan high courts, it decided to move the Supreme Court under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution anticipating a similar reaction from the Uttaranchal government. According to senior advocate Indu Malhotra, who mentioned the case before the court of the Chief Justice, Uttaranchal has already imposed a ban in Dehra Dun.