Gujarat High Court reverses decision to pause Aamir Khan's son film 'Maharaj' amid row

Gujarat High Court reverses decision to pause Aamir Khan's son film 'Maharaj' amid row

The Gujarat High Court has lifted the temporary stay on 'Maharaj,' a film based on the 1862 Maharaj Libel Case, allowing it to stream on Netflix. The stay was initially imposed following objections from the Vaishnavite Pustimargi sect over alleged misrepresentation.

Court Clears 'Maharaj' for Streaming Court Clears 'Maharaj' for Streaming

The Gujarat High Court has lifted its temporary stay on the release of 'Maharaj,' the debut film of Junaid Khan, son of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, which is currently available for streaming on Netflix. This decision follows a legal challenge that temporarily halted the film's release just a day before its scheduled debut on June 14, 2024. Members of the Vaishnavite Pustimargi sect had raised objections, alleging potential misrepresentation of their religious beliefs.

Justice Sangeeta K. Vishen, who initially barred the film's release on June 13, reversed the decision after viewing the movie herself. The court ruled that 'Maharaj,' centered around events from the 1862 Maharaj Libel Case, did not intend to offend the sentiments of the Pushtimargi community, emphasizing that it had received certification from the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) in accordance with established guidelines.

“This court arrives at the prima facie conclusion that the film, Maharaj, is based on events that led to the filing of the libel case and is not targeted at hurting the sentiments of the Pushtimargi community. The interim relief granted on June 13 has been vacated,” the court stated.

Directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra and produced under the Yash Raj Films banner by Aditya Chopra, 'Maharaj' features Junaid Khan alongside actors Jaideep Ahlawat and Sharvari Wagh in pivotal roles. The film explores significant historical events related to the Maharaj Libel Case of 1862, which involved allegations against revered spiritual leader Jadunathji Maharaj by journalist Mulji.

Before the court's intervention, the film faced significant online backlash with hashtags like "Ban Netflix" and "Ban Maharaj" trending on social media platforms. Critics argued that the period drama could potentially distort religious practices and ignite communal tensions. The legal challenge stemmed from a petition filed by devotees of Lord Krishna and followers of Vallabhacharya, expressing concerns over public order and possible incitement of violence.

With the stay now lifted, 'Maharaj' is set to continue streaming on Netflix, marking a pivotal moment in Junaid Khan's entry into the film industry amid ongoing discussions about artistic freedom and religious sensitivities.

Edited By: Krishna Medhi
Published On: Jun 21, 2024