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Aarakshan: Supreme Court To Hear Jha's Plea On Tuesday

PTI 12 Aug 2011, 21:12:29 IST

New Delhi, Aug 12: Filmmaker Prakash Jha today moved the Supreme Court seeking its direction to lift the ban imposed on the release of his controversial film ‘Aarakshan' in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh and the apex court will hear the petition on August 16.

The petition filed by Jha, the producer and director of the film, is listed before a bench of justices M K Sharma and A R Dave which will decide whether state governments can override the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) permission granted to exhibit a movie.

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

“It (the petition) also raises an important question of law as to whether Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India can be obliterated or trampled by the state government by prohibiting the exhibition of a film only to support a political view,” the petition filed through advocate Mahesh Agarwala said.

The political thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Vajpai, Prateek Babbar and Deepika Padukone was released today in other parts of the country.

Jha sought a stay on the orders passed by the three state governments banning the release of the film on the grounds of likelihood of hurting the feelings of weaker sections that could lead to law and order problems.

Earlier in the day, the petition was mentioned by senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi before a bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir for urgent hearing.

Though, Justice Kabir had agreed to hear it later in the day, the matter could not be taken up due to technical reasons. PTI