JODHPUR: The Rajasthan high court said on Friday that it would like to watch the film ‘Padmavat’ before quashing an FIR lodged against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lead actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, and directed their counsel to inform it about the date of a “special screening”. The HC, which was hearing a petition by Bhansali seeking to quash the FIR, posted the matter for January 23.
The film is slated for release on January 25.
An FIR was lodged by two persons — Virendra Singh and Nagpal Singh — with the Deedwana police in Nagaur district of Rajasthan in March last year, alleging that the film had distorted “historical facts” and “hurt the image of Rani Padmini”. Large-scale protests, led by the Karni Sena, erupted in several places. Bhansali had then moved the HC seeking to quash the FIR.
Bhansali, argued in the HC that the FIR became meaningless as the film’s name had already been changed to ‘Padmavat’ from ‘Padmavati’, following recommendations by the Censor Board and experts, and it should be allowed to be released in the state. He said that the allegations were baseless as neither the film had been released, nor a trailer was out.
However, Justice Sandeep Mehta refused to pass an order on the petition before watching the film and asked Bora to arrange for a special screening for the court.
“Based on our argument, the court expressed the need of arranging a special screening of the film before arriving at a conclusion regarding the FIR,” Bora said. “We sought time from the court for arranging the screening for the court, allowing which, the HC listed the matter for hearing on January 23,” he added.