The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to change the title of the upcoming Akshay Kumar-starrer Prithviraj. The plea was, therefore, withdrawn by the petitioner.
Produced under the banner of the Yash Raj Films and also starring Manushi Chillar, the film is set to have a theatrical release on June 10. It is a Hindi historical action drama based on Prithviraj Raso, a Braj-language epic poem about the life of the king Prithviraj Chauhan from the Chahamana dynasty.
The petition was filed by an organisation named Rashtriya Pravasi Parishad, which submitted that Prithviraj was a great emperor and warrior, and thus, using his name without a prefix in the title lowers the dignity and respect of the historical figure. The plea further suggested that the name of the film should include a prefix such as ‘Great Emperor’.
The petitioner also submitted that using the great warrior’s name without respectful prefixes is contrary to Section 5B (principles for guidance in certifying films) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, as per which the title of a film cannot be “indecent or defamatory.”
The counsel for the Rashtriya Pravasi Parishad argued, “We only want the movie to have a suitable title to honour the king who ruled for nearly 26 years. In its present form, the movie is lowering the dignity of King Prithviraj Chauhan. This is in contravention of laws and therefore hurts the sentiments of the people.”
During the hearing on Monday, the Delhi HC bench consisting of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna refused to entertain the PIL and threatened to impose costs on the petitioner.
Following this, the petitioner sought permission to withdraw the plea and the court disposed of the matter as withdrawn.
Earlier this month, a similar petition was moved before the Allahabad High Court by Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena’s national vice president (women wing). The plea stated that the film being titled simply Prithviraj rather than ‘Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan‘ gives a wrong message and hurts the religious sentiments and beliefs of the Rajput community. It also claimed that titling the film merely Prithviraj not only showed disrespect towards the great Indian historical king but also hurt the sentiments and beliefs of Hindus across the country.