The Allahabad High Court on Thursday banned Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s romantic saga Ram Leela, starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, in Uttar Pradesh.
The Lucknow bench of the court comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Ashok Pal Singh passed the order to ban 'Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela' after a petition was filed by Maryada Purshottam Bhagwan Ramleela Samiti, Bahraich.
The petitioner had prayed for cancellation of Censor Board certification given to 'Ram Leela’ on November 1 and sought that controversial and objectionable dialogues be removed from the film.
The petition had contended that the film was hurting religious sentiments of Hindus and its title 'Ram Leela' was giving a wrong message to society as Lord Ram's 'Leela' (act) had great impact on Indian society.
Besides, Centre, state government, Central Film Certification Board, UP's Chief Secretary, Eros International and Bhansali had been made a party in the 'Ram Leela' petition.
The bench said, "We are only concerned with the use of word 'Ram Leela' in the title of the film which hurts the sentiments of billions of peoples not only in India but all over the world.
"The meaning assigned to Ram Leela and Raasleela in Encyclopedia Britannica is a well researched meaning and prima facie no film-maker has right to use the title 'Ram Leela, Raasleela or alike words which are used in India since ages for a particular purpose," the court said.
Meaning assigned to a particular word by people since thousand years of civilization cannot be given a different meaning by film makers, it observed.
"Obviously, use of film for a different purpose as a measure of cheap popularity or promotion is not permissible since it hurts the sentiments of the people," it said.
The court while issuing notice to the opposite parties asked them to file a counter affidavit within four weeks.
The court, however, allowed the respondents to display the film in the state without using the title Ram Leela and Raasleela.