Duty of State to protect people, says SC as protests continue after ban on release of Padmaavat lifted

If there are riots in the country who would be responsible, asks Petitioner ML Sharma.

A day after ruling that the film “Padmaavat” cannot be banned by states on account of potential law and order trouble, the Supreme Court today told a petitioner, “It is the duty of the state to protect people, it is not our job.”

Petitioner ML Sharma had challenged the censor board clearance to the period drama, which is releasing next Friday after a nearly two-month delay over protests by Rajput groups and the decision by some states to ban the film.

Mr Sharma told the court that there would be “law and order problems in the country” and questioned, “If there are riots in the country after the release of the movie, who would be responsible?”

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra replied: “We are functioning as a constitutional court. It is the duty of the state to protect. We have passed a detailed order yesterday and once the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) gives its nod, it can’t be stopped.”

“Padmaavat” is inspired by a fictional poem on Rajput Queen Padmini, a legendary beauty who preferred to commit “Johar” or self-immolation instead of submitting to Sultan Alauddin Khilji after he killed her husband.

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