Ban on Jodha Akbar will remain suspended till further orders: SC

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New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI) The Supreme Court today cleared the decks for uninterrupted screening of Ashutosh Gowarikar's magnum opus 'Jodha Akbar' throughout the country when it extended the stay order already passed against banning of the film.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran also issued notices to UTV Software Limited, producer of the controversial movie on the petition filed by Rajput Sabha seeking to intervene in the matter on the ground that historical facts have been distorted in the movie.

According to the Rajput Sabha, Jodha Bai, a Rajput Princess was not the wife of Mughal emperor Akbar but was his daughter-in-law.

The Government of Uttar Pradesh and several districts of Haryana and Uttarakhand had banned the release of 'Jodha Akbar' starring Aishwarya Rai and Hritik Roshan.

UTV had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the ban contending that such a ban amounted to violation of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution.

Rajput organisations have been opposing an exhibition of the movie in several parts of the country including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana.

According to the producers of the movie, such bans were causing huge financial losses to them as they have invested Rs 45 crore on the production and publicity of the movie and the main collection comes in the first few weeks of the release of the movie.

The apex court has not fixed any date of hearing and directed that the case shall be heard in due course.

UNI AKS/SC BDP DB1157

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