New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government today told the Supreme Court that there was no ban on movie - 'Muzaffarnagar, the Burning Love' - in any of the districts in the state.
The state government told this to a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which was hearing a plea alleging that there were 'verbal instructions' by authorities not to release the movie in six districts of Muzzaffarnagar, Meerut, Shamli, Saharanpur, Baghpat and Ghaziabad.
The movie, 'Muzaffarnagar, the Burning Love', is a love story of a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl set in the backdrop of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh.
The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, disposed of the petition filed by Morna Entertainment Pvt Ltd, producer of the movie, after hearing the submissions of advocate Sanjay Kumar Tyagi, representing Uttar Pradesh.
The apex court noted in its order the statement by the counsel that no order for banning the movie was passed by the authorities and the film was running in theatres even today. The bench disposed of the plea saying nothing remained to be adjudicated in the case but if the producer and distributor wanted police help in screening the film, it would be provided to them. The film producer had approached the top court seeking directions to the authorities of these districts to allow the film's screening without any hindrance and also sought directions to provide adequate security for it.
It had alleged that the authorities in these districts had "illegally and without any authorisation" warned and threatened the cinema theatres not to screen the movie, which was released on November 17 this year. The plea had said the movie was granted 'U/A' certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification and censor board had cleared it to be shown to the audience. The plea had alleged that the authorities had not issued any formal order to the theatres "but only on verbal instructions, the release of motion picture has been stalled thereby causing a great financial loss to the petitioner and also violating the fundamental right..." The petitioner had alleged that such 'verbal instructions' were patently illegal and arbitrary exercise of power.