Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Prasoon Joshi, was issued a contempt notice on 16th January by the Allahabad High Court for not responding to a plea against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, made on court order. The court has granted him a period of three weeks to respond to the petition before the next hearing of the case on February 12th.
The petitioner had filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking a ban on the movie alleging that it promoted the practise of Sati. On November 9, 2017 the High Court dismissed the plea, but allowed the petitioner to approach the censor board wherein the board was required to give a response within three weeks. While a representation was filed before the CBFC on November 13th, Joshi has failed to give a response yet.
This becomes the latest in a series of disputes surrounding the release of the period film which was initially scheduled to release on December 1st, 2017. Repeated protests and threats of violence by several Rajput groups, led by the Karni Sena, stalled the movies’ certification and release alleging that the makers distorted history. Despite Bhansali repeatedly denying the allegations, it was claimed that the film had a dream sequence between Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. The movie is finally set to release on January 25th with a few changes as per CBFC’s directive, including the change of its name from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’.