Gujarat HC halts release of Aamir Khan’s son’s film Maharaj, sends notice to Netflix

A Hindu sect’s members have alleged that the film is likely to incite feelings of hatred and violence.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Poster of the film Maharaj alongside a gavel.

A day before the release of Maharaj, the debut film of Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan, the Gujarat High Court has stayed its streaming over a petition by Vaishnavite Pustimargi sect members who have alleged that the film would incite violence against the sect. The court also sent notices to producer Yash Raj Films and streaming platform Netflix, Livelaw reported. 

The Hindu sect members, who identify as devotees of Krishna, cited the IT Rules and claimed that the excerpts of the movie contain “scandalous and defamatory language, which affects the Pushtimargi sect as a whole”, and that the release of the movie “is likely to incite feelings of hatred and violence against the Pushtimargi sect.”

The film, which also stars Jaideep Ahlawat and is directed by Siddharth P Malhotra, is based on the Maharaj Libel Case 1862 and purportedly revolves around Karsandas Mulji, a social reformer, and a Pushtimarg religious leader who allegedly had sexual liaisons with women devotees.   

In April, the petitioners had also submitted a representation to Yash Raj Films and Netflix, requesting a private screening or official clarification on the film. However, the two did not agree to any demands.    

The court of Justice Sangeeta Vishen temporarily stayed the release of the film. The next hearing is on June 18.

Newslaundry earlier reported that the Supreme Court suspended the screening of Hamare Baarah and asked the Bombay High Court to take an expeditious decision on a petition alleging that the film was derogatory to Islam and married Muslim women. Read here.

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