Stepping into the shoes of the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court on Thursday declined to interfere with the release of an upcoming Indian film - Ram Ki Janmabhoomi, which is scheduled to hit theatres across India on Friday, March 29, 2019.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru disposed of the petition and further directed producer Waseem Rizvi to hold a private screening of the film for the petitioner, Prince Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy who claims to be a descendant of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. The high court, however, gave the petitioner liberty to approach it again if he found any objectionable dialogue or scene in the movie.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court too was approached with the petition seeking to stall the release of the film, claiming it will vitiate the ongoing mediation proceeding in the Ayodhya land dispute case. The top court also refused to stall the movie's release saying there was no connection between the mediation proceeding and the film's release.
The high court, while hearing Tucy's petition on Wednesday said that people will have to be tolerant if freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution has to survive. "This court is of the view that whether right or not, people have to be tolerant if Article 19 (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution has to survive," Justice Bakhru was quoted as saying.
Tucy had alleged in his petition that the movie contained a "personal attack" on him and his "royal" family and would also affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country. He had also alleged that the film could create communal tensions in the country.
The film, directed by Sanoj Mishra, revolves around the controversial issue of Ram Mandir at Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya and is scheduled to hit the screens across the country on March 29. The principal photography for the film is completed, and the trailer was released on 19 November 2018. Co-directed by Vikas Kumar Singh, the movie stars Manoj Joshi and Govind Namdev.
(With inputs from agencies)