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Maharashtra Govt. capable of handling dispute post Aarakshan release

The Maharashtra government yesterday informed the Mumbai High Court that it was capable of handling any law and order situation, post the release of Prakash Jha's film Aarakshan, which has already stirred controversies in different parts of the country for its alleged anti-reservation stand.

After receiving order from the home department joint secretary Vijay Patil, who was present in the court stated that it was the duty of the Government to maintain law and order. He explained, “We cannot say if there are possibilities of any law and order problem post the movie's release without seeing it. We might write to the producer to show movie to the home department officials."

On the other hand director Jha's lawyers Venkatesh Dhond and Ameet Naik had told the court earlier that Aarakshan will not be screened for any political leader or party before the release of the film. The division bench of Justices DD Sinha and AR Joshi yesterday posted the matter on August 9. On the day they will decide whether the Court should watch the film before passing any order.

The High Court was hearing the petition filed by two lawyers, challenging Censor Boards decision for clearing Aarakshan, which they believe has an anti-reservation stand and will cause disharmony in the society. The petitioners lawyer advocate Sanghraj Rupwate suggested to preview the movie along with the judges.

However, Justic Sinha ordered, "We will decide on Tuesday whether the movie should be viewed before the release by us or any other section of the society." Earlier director Prakash Jha had already stated in his affidavit that his film Aarakshan, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik Babbar and Manoj Bajpayee is not an anti-reservation or anti-dalit film, but was about the commercialisation of education.

Aarakshan is slated for an August 12 release.

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