The Supreme Court came down heavily on people holding public office for commenting on the Padmavati controversy before the CBFC certifying the film. According to Indian Express, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar added fuel to the fire by saying director Sanjay Leela Bhansali should clarify his stand on the controversy and that the historical drama won’t be released in his state until that happens.
The JD(U) chief is the fifth Chief Minister after Yogi Adityanath (UP), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) to speak out against the film’s release. Incidentally, all these states are ruled by the BJP.
According to The Pioneer, the CM ordered officials to ban the release of the film after BJP MLA Neeraj Kumar Bablu demanded it in a letter. Bablu reportedly is an upper caste Rajput, the community which has been protesting against the film over alleged "distortion of historical facts".
Padmavati was supposed to release on December 1, but has been delayed by the producers. Gujarat, MP and UP have banned the film’s release and cited it as a “distortion of history”.
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking a stay on the release of Padmavati.
According to reports the Supreme Court said statements by people holding public offices were synonymous to pre-judging a film even before certification by the censor board. The bench made these observations while hearing a plea filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma.According to the Indian Express, a Supreme Court bench said “When the matter is pending for CBFC’s consideration, how can people holding public offices comment on whether CBFC should issue a certificate or not? It’ll prejudice decision making of CBFC…All concerned people, holding responsible posts must be guided by rule of law and shouldn’t venture into passing comments on films which haven’t been cleared by CBFC.”