HC treats writ pleas filed by producer as withdrawn

The battle by the producer of Vishwaroopam before the Madras High Court came to an end on Monday with the writ petitions filed by it being treated as closed and withdrawn. Justice S. Rajeswaran passed the order when the matter came up.

Earlier, the film producer, the Rajkamal Films International, represented by its partner, S. Chandrahasan, had filed writ petitions challenging a two-week ban on the film in Tamil Nadu.

Citing law and order grounds, the State government had empowered the Collectors to invoke Section 144 (power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger) Cr.P.C. and ordered the theatres not to exhibit the movie. On January 29, a single Judge by an interim order stayed the ban on the film. Following appeals by the government, a Division Bench restored the ban and directed the government to file its reply before the single Judge in all the writ petitions on Monday.

Accordingly, when the matter came up before Mr. Justice Rajeswaran, in a memorandum the Rajkamal Films International, said talks were held between the representatives of the producer and various Muslim organisations who objected to the film, in the presence of government officials on February 2. This resulted in a compromise under which the producer had agreed for certain changes in the film. In return, the organisations consented for the release of the movie. Pursuant to the settlement of the issues between the petitioner and the Muslim organisations, all district Collectors had withdrawn their orders under Section 144, paving the way for release of the film in the State.

The petitioner prayed the court to permit it to withdraw the petitions.

The Advocate-General, A. Navaneethakrishnan, said since a compromise had been arrived at, the Collectors and the Police Commissioners had revoked the order after considering the ground reality.

He said the petitioner’s submission be recorded. Following this, Mr. Justice Rajeswaran ordered that the writ petitions were being treated as closed and withdrawn.