Padmaavat Pre-Release Violence: SC Agrees To Hear Contempt Plea Against 4 States, Karni Sena Leaders

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on Monday two petitions which sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the state governments of Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP and Haryana for not taking steps to ensure law and order before the release of  controversial movie ‘Padmaavat’ and not providing enough security to theatres.

It is to be noted that a bench headed by Chief Justice Misra had ordered states to ensure security ahead of its release.

The petitions were filed by Advocate Vineet Dhanda and Tehseen Poonawalla.

Multiplex owners in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh refused to screen the movie yesterday after fringe groups like the Karni Sena rampaged through several states, clashing with police, burning vehicles and vandalising malls. In Gurgaon, (Haryana)  protesters launched a terrifying attack on a bus full of school children.

Advocate Vineet Dhanda in his petition alleged that a Haryana Roadways bus was set ablaze and another vandalized in Bhondsi area in Gurugram district by a group of around 50 men, alleged to be Shri Rajput Karni Sena supporters, on Wednesday to protest against the movie 'Padmaavat'.

“They also pelted stones at the Haryana Police personnels deployed on the Gurugram-Alwar National Highway, injuring a few policemen. A school bus carrying children and staff was also damaged in stone-pelting, though no one was said to be injured. Road traffic was disrupted for hours in the area following the violent protest by youths belonging to the Rajput community who had their faces covered”.

Petitioner also alleged that the Karni Sena are spear heading the protest against the release of movie Padmavat.

“They are inciting the general public and are exploiting the sentiments by misguiding them against the exhibition of movie”.

“I have urged the court to summon the Chief Ministers of the four states and contempt proceedings against them and also leaders of Karni Sena. What has happened is a blatant violation of the January 18 order of the apex court which put the onus on the governments of respective states to maintain law and order. But look at the violence that has happened and they could not control it”, said Tehseen Poonawalla, one of the petitioners

“Ok it will be heard on Monday”, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said when Poonawalla’s lawyer sought an urgent hearing.

“Look at the kind of statements the leaders of Karni sena are making- that if we implement the orders of the SC the country will break”, Poonawalla said.

It is to be noted that on Tuesday the Supreme Court  had refused to recall or modify  its January 18 order by which the ban on screening of controversial movie 'Padmaavat' in four states was lifted by scrapping the notification to that effect.

Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had moved the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra seeking a modification claiming that section 6 Cinematograph Act empowers them to stop exhibition of any controversial movie on the grounds of possible violation of law and order.

In Haryana the violence left at least one school bus badly damaged and scores of kids, who lay on the bus floor to shield themselves from bricks flying at the windows and glass pieces from shattered bus panes, deeply shocked.