SC lifts Jodhaa Akbar ban; Rajasthan still no show

MUMBAI: A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan passed an interim order to lift the ban imposed on the screening of United Motion Pictures and Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa Akbar in different parts of the country till 14 March.

UTV had moved the Supreme Court in order to lift the ban stating that the film was made for the purpose of entertainment and does not claim to be historically accurate.

Uttar Pradesh and various cities of Haryana and Uttarakhand banned the film.

The company’s petition said that the censor board cleared the film for public viewing after making sure that it was not against the sovereignty or integrity of India, security of the country, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality.

The ban in Madhya Pradesh was lifted a few days ago. The film’s screening will begin in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttaranchal with immediate effect. "A total of 50 – 55 physical plus digital prints had been set aside for the UP territory. The film will immediately start screening there," says UTV Software Communications director Siddharth Roy Kapur.

However, in Rajasthan, where the exhibitors have been facing various threats from individual groups, the film will not yet be screened. UMP had set aside 25 – 30 prints for Rajasthan.

"There was no official ban in Rajasthan so the Supreme Court judgment does not apply to Rajasthan. The exhibitors, who have been issued threats are still weary to screen the film as they are worried that their properties might be harmed," Kapur informs Businessofcinema.com.

The film is also slated to release in Tamil and Telugu with 60 and 65 prints respectively.

Jodhaa Akbar stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead.

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