​'Maharaj' OTT release: Mukul Rohatgi tells Gujarat HC – like it or not, we cannot erase history

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
6 Min Read

There are still clouds of doubt over the release of Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan's debut film 'Maharaj'. The Gujarat High Court is hearing the case on Wednesday as well. The film is surrounded by controversies due to its subject. On one hand, there is a demand to ban it, while on the order of the Gujarat High Court, an interim stay was imposed on it just before its release on June 14. On Tuesday also, there was a heated debate in the High Court about 'Maharaj'. During this, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Netflix and the producers, told the court that we cannot change history, whether anyone likes it or not. A single bench of Justice Sangeeta Vishen is hearing the case. After Tuesday, the arguments of Netflix, Yash Raj Films and the petitioners are being heard in the court on Wednesday as well. After the arguments on Tuesday, the court said that the interim stay on the release of the film will continue till Wednesday. Members of the Pushti Marg sect have filed a petition against 'Maharaj'.

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Hinduism was condemned by the British court

The film is based on a defamation case that took place in 1862 during the British Raj. The petitioners argued in the court on Tuesday that the British-era court had given the verdict in the defamation case and condemned the Hindu religion. In that verdict, serious derogatory comments were made against Lord Krishna as well as devotional songs and bhajans. But we should not forget that all this happened during the British era.

Netflix said- censor certificate is not required for release on OTT

Appealing on behalf of Netflix, senior Supreme Court lawyer Mukul Rohatgi said that the petitioner's demand is absolutely absurd. He said, 'Both the petitioner's demands to ban the film and cancel its censorship certificate are absurd. First of all, such a certificate is not required to release 'Maharaj' on OTT. This petition action is completely fabricated and artificial.'

Rohatgi said- if you don't have any objection to the book, then why to the film

Mukul Rohatgi further said, 'One of the petitioners is a businessman from Ahmedabad. He never took any action against the book on which this film is based. Or there is a lot of material on this subject on the Internet, but he did not take any action there either. Making a film, producing it or presenting it to the world on any platform is not a small thing. It takes a lot of money and hard work. We have already lost our release on Friday.'

'We don't like the decision to hang Bhagat Singh, but we cannot erase it'

The senior lawyer further argued, 'Whatever decision the court took in the 1862 defamation case is legal history. The film is based on this. Now whether we like that decision or not, we cannot erase legal history. The petitioner has objection to the language used in the decision. But you cannot ban the film for this argument. Freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh were hanged during the British period. This was also the court's decision. Obviously, we don't like it. But it is a part of history.'

'A true devotee is one who allows his wife to sleep with the Maharaja'..The British government was tensed due to these allegations against the saint of Vallabh sect

Citing the Supreme Court's decision on 'Bandit Queen'

Mukul Rohatgi also mentioned the film 'Bandit Queen' during the arguments. He told the court that despite the controversial scenes in the film, the Supreme Court has upheld artistic freedom. In its decision, the Supreme Court had also accepted the argument of showing the reality of society through cinema.

High Court bans the release of Aamir Khan's son Junaid's film 'Maharaj', accused of hurting Hindu sentiments

The petitioner said- religious sentiments will be hurt, violence may erupt

On the other hand, the petitioners say that if the film is allowed to be released, religious sentiments will be seriously hurt. There is a possibility of violence against the followers of a particular community. Earlier, the petitioners had also appealed to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and requested to ban the release of the film.

Presswire18 TimesPeople got angry on Aamir Khan's son Junaid's first film, said in one voice- boycott Netflix

Why is there a ruckus about 'Maharaj', what is the defamation case of 1862

Actually, the defamation case of 1862 is related to Karsandas Mulji. He was a social reformer and journalist. In one of his articles, he had alleged that God has sexual relations with his female devotees. Jadunathji Maharaj had objected to this and filed a defamation case in the court.

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