Movies

Ban of Aarakshan in UP to stay

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The Supreme Court has declined to lift the ban on Aarakshan imposed by the Uttar Pradesh government.


The Apex court has said that it will hear the UP government before deciding on the issue on Friday.


Prakash Jha had moved the Supreme Court on Friday seeking its direction to lift the ban imposed on the release of his film in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.


 
While the UP government had banned the film for two months on 10 August citing law and order problems, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, have withdrawn the ban after minor modifications.


Aarakshan, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Manoj Bajpai, was released on 12 August.


While hearing on Jha‘s petetion, a bench of Justices Mukundkam Sharma and AR Dave also asked the Centre to give its reaction in view of the contentions by Jha that the state governments cannot override the permission granted by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to exhibit a movie.


The petition contended the decision by the governments of UP, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh was due to political reasons and it violates the fundamental right to speech and expression.


In the petition, Jha said the examining committee of Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), which cleared the film for exhibition, comprised members drawn from the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and other backward castes and the ban by the three states is "biased and arbitrary".


Seeking a stay on ban orders, Jha had cited various Apex Court judgments holding that "open criticism of the government policies and operations is not a ground for imposing restriction on expression views even in the form of films."


He said he has spent Rs 650 million towards production, publicity and marketing of the film and third party rights for distribution and exploitation of the film have also been created.

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