The recent India Legal Show on APN News discussed the issue at length

Film buffs have had much to ponder about recently. Two films, yet to be released, are in the thick of controversy. While Jolly LLB 2, was hauled to court for “contempt charges” as it allegedly belittled the judiciary and the legal fraternity in general, the shooting of Padmavati was disrupted by Karni Sena as it felt that history had been distorted and Rajputana pride dented.

The brouhaha over both the films has again raised questions which are not new but now loaded with a fresh perspective. What is the limit to freedom of expression when it comes to showcasing one’s creativity? Is it limitless and unbound? Can one distort real facts just for the sake of entertainment?

The issue was discussed at length on the latest India Legal show. Former Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court Justice Yatindra Singh and Advocate on Record, Supreme Court, Aishwarya Bhati participated in the discussion.

Read some key observations made in the show:

Yatindra Singh: “I think this entire controversy has been raised for free publicity. It is true that historians debate about Rani Padmavati’s existence. But if you believe she existed and make a film based on her life story then it should be based on facts. You can make minor changes for the sake of entertainment but the main facts should not be twisted. I also think that since it is election time, political parties are trying to woo voters and gain their support. The actress in the film, Deepika Padukone, did confirm that no facts have been distorted.”

Aishwarya Bhati: “Freedom of expression is protected under Article 19 of our Constitution. However, there are restrictions. There are parameters…. I feel proud to be from the land which has such a great history. I don’t believe she doesn’t exist. It is a story I am proud of. It is a story of courage that inspired us in our childhood. If someone wants to make a movie on her then it should be made based on right facts. But if you are doing something fictional then change the title of the movie.”

Talking about the controversy surrounding Jolly LLB 2, he said: “No one has seen the movie. We have only seen the trailer. I didn’t see anything in it that should create such a furore. The censor board should see the scenes and the facts. Prima facie, no contempt of court charges can be made out against the film. Let the movie be released and then if there is anything wrong in it the court should take action.”

“I think there is nothing wrong in showing the facts. Aberrations do exist in real court proceedings. These aberrations are not routine but they occur once in a while, like people throwing shoes, lawyers shouting at judge’s face, etc. Films are a reflection of the society and if they are showing the reality, people should try to learn from it and rectify their mistakes. If the film is showing us a mirror then we should take it in the right perspective. Contempt cannot be a tool for you to earn respect.”

Here is the complete video of the show:

—Compiled by Usha Rani Das

Lead picture: Anil Shakya