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Rajasthan HC says will watch Padmavat before deciding on FIR against Bhansali, actors

Film’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lead actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh had moved Rajasthan High Court seeking the quashing of an FIR lodged against them in Nagaur in March last year.

jaipur Updated: Jan 12, 2018 19:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan high court,Padmavat,Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Deepika Padukone plays the titular role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavat.(HT File)

The Rajasthan High Court Friday said it would watch the Bollywood film ‘Padmavat’ before taking a decision on quashing an FIR against movie director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and lead actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

Hearing a petition filed by Bhansali and the two actors, seeking the quashing of an FIR lodged against them at Deedwana police station of Rajasthan’s Nagaur district, the court posted the matter to January 23.

In March last year, Virendra Singh, a resident of Nagaur district, had filed a case at Deedwana police station seeking action against Bhansali and film’s lead actors for hurting religious sentiments.

Bhansali, Padukone and Singh had later moved a petition before the high court to quash the FIR.

The petitioner’s counsel, Nishant Bora, said since the name of the film has been changed to ‘Padmavat’ from ‘Padmavati’, the FIR had become pointless.

Justice Sandeep Mehta, however, refused to pass any order on the petition before watching the film and asked the Bora to arrange a screening for the court.

“After the screening of the film, the high court will decide on the FIR. The director’s consent is necessary for the screening of the film. So, we have sought time from the court till January 23. After getting the reply from the film’s director, we will file a reply in the court,” said Bora.

Public prosecutor JP Bhardwaj said, “The high court has already stayed the arrest of the accused. The court will take the decision on FIR after watching the film.”

The film, loosely based on a 16th century poem written by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, has remained in controversy for the past one year, ever since Bhansali began shooting in January last year in Jaipur.

The movie is facing violent protests by members of Shri Rajput Karni Sena who have accused Bhansali and the two lead actors of insulting Rajput community’s honour.

The movie is slated to hit cinema halls on January 25. Rajasthan government has already announced that it will not allow screening of the film in the state despite CBFC clearance. In a statement, chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s office had said that “Queen Padmini’s sacrifice is deeply linked to the state’s glory and honour, she is not just a figure in history for us but a symbol of our pride. We will not let her dignity be tarnished at any cost.”

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 19:13 IST