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Amid Padmavati Row, Supreme Court Says Freedom of Speech and Expression Sacrosanct

The Supreme Court order came on a petition filed by Nachiketa Walhekar, who had allegedly thrown ink at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in 2013, seeking a stay on release of 'An Insignificant Man' on Friday.

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Updated:November 16, 2017, 6:39 PM IST
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Amid Padmavati Row, Supreme Court Says Freedom of Speech and Expression Sacrosanct
File photo of the Supreme Court.
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking stay on the nationwide release of 'An Insignificant Man', based on the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party.

The movie is set to be released on Friday.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud dismissed the petition by Nachiketa Walhekar, who had allegedly thrown ink at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in 2013, saying that freedom of speech and expression is sacrosanct and it should not be ordinarily interfered with.

This comes at a time when Sanjay Leela Bhansali's big budget epic 'Padmavati' has run into similar opposition from Rajput groups who claim the film hurts the community's sentiments.

The Shri Rajput Karni Sena on Wednesday called for a 'Bharat Bandh' (shutdown) on December 1, if Padmavati releases on that date.

The counsel appearing for Walhekar alleged that he has been depicted as a convict in the case despite the fact that the trial in that matter was still pending before a lower court here, PTI reported.

The counsel claimed that the movie has tarnished the image of the petitioner and the court should direct the filmmakers to put a disclaimer that the trial in the ink-throwing case was still pending.

The bench, however, refused to direct the Central Board of Film Certification to stay the release of the movie.

"The courts have to be extremely slow to pass any kind of orders in such situations and should allow a creative man to enjoy in writing a drama, philosophy and book of any kind or project it in on celluloid or theatre," the bench said.

"It's worthy to mention that Freedom of Speech and Expression is sacrosanct and the said right should not be ordinarily interfered with," the apex court said.

(With PTI inputs)
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