Supreme Court rejects Bhatt's petition on 'Fanaa'

Jun 5, 2006 IANS

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a petition by Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt seeking directions to the Gujarat government to ensure peaceful screening of "Fanaa" in the state.

A vacation bench consisting of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice C.K. Thakker, while dismissing the petition, said theatre owners in Gujarat could seek police protection for screening this film.

Bhatt, in his petition filed on June 1, sought a court direction to the police chief of Gujarat to take steps for the peaceful screening of the film that stars Aamir Khan.

Activists of Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have prevented the screening of the film following Aamir's support to the cause of rehabilitation of those ousted by the Narmada dam project.

The BJP in Gujarat projects the dam as a lifeline for drought-prone parts of the state. It had asked Aamir to apologise to the people of Gujarat for his remarks, but the actor refused, saying he would continue to speak for the poor and marginalised sections of society.

Bollywood bigwigs, including Amitabh Bachchan, have defended Aamir, saying freedom of expression cannot be curtailed in a democratic society.

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