The vacation bench of the Supreme Court of India rejected the petition moved by producer Mahesh Bhatt asking for a directive from the court to the Gujarat government to provide protection to all the cinema halls which want to screen Aamir Khan's film, Fanaa.
Posters and banners of the film were burnt by protestors who wanted Khan to apologise for his stand on the displaced persons in the Narmada Sagar project, forcing exhibitors not to screen the film in multiplexes.
Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice C K Thakar said they were 'not inclined to entertain the petition.'
'However, it goes without saying that if an exhibitor of the movie approaches the concerned police for protection, the same shall be provided,' they added in their order, while dismissing a petition filed by Jan Sangharsh Manch.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has welcomed the court's decision. Prakash Javadekar, spokesman for the party, said the BJP had not called for a ban on the film and hence it is wrong to involve the party.
"The (Narendra) Modi government had also not declined to give protection nor had it asked the exhibitors not to screen the movie in Gujarat," he said.
Mahesh Bhatt in his petition had argued that the non-exhibition of the film amounted to infringement of the Fundamental Right to the Freedom of Expression.