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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

HC notice to Punjab on quashing FIR against release of 'Ram-Leela'

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 12, 2013
First Published: 23:28 IST(12/11/2013) | Last Updated: 17:30 IST(13/11/2013)

On a petition filed by Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the lead actors of his forthcoming movie 'Ram-Leela', Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, seeking quashing of the FIR registered against them in Jalandhar for the film's allegedly objectionable content and offending Hindus' religious sentiments, the high court has issued a notice to the Punjab government.

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The petition came up for hearing on Tuesday before the court headed by justice Jitendra Chauhan, which issued a notice of motion to the state to file its reply before November 14, the next date of hearing.

The film is scheduled for release on November 15. The court was informed that an FIR was registered at the division-3 police station, Jalandhar, on the complaint of Lalit Kumar on September 26 under Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code. The petitioners have also sought stay of the trial court proceedings during the pendency of the petition in the high court.

The complainant in the FIR alleged that the film is not based on Hindu mythology as its title depicts, has nothing to do with the life of Lord Ram but instead it promotes sex by showing sexual, erotic and arrogant poses, scenes and photographs.

However, appearing for the petitioners in the high court, senior advocate RS Rai submitted that though the FIR was registered on September 26, the producer and director of the film had applied to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) subsequently, seeking approval from the board. On this, the approval for release of the movie was granted on November 1 after carrying out cuts etc. in the movie.

The court was informed that a public interest litigation filed by NGO Rashtravadi Shiv Sena earlier before the Delhi high court was dismissed on October 10, being devoid of material, with a cost of Rs. 50,000.

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