Karnataka must provide security for Kaala: High Court

Amidst Kannada organisations calling for a boycott of the film and some exhibitors and distributors backing away from releasing the film in the state, the makers of the film approached the High Court of Karnataka. The court was told that there was threat to the film’s release.
The film ran into trouble in Karnataka due to the lead actor Rajinikanth’s statements about the Cauvery water crisis.
The advocate for the producers, Rajinikanth’s daughter and son-in-law, argued that in the recent case of the film Padmavat, the Supreme Court has said that there can be no ban on a film once it is certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The single-judge bench asked where the threat was coming from. Was it in a particular area like Gandhinagar, the court asked, or was the fear of the producers based on speculation. The advocate pointed out that several organisations and individuals had issued a threat. He requested that the government should provide security for the film’s release.
The court asked for a list of screens where the film is being released so that security can be arranged. The Additional Advocate General, Shivanna, told the court that the government has not received a list of theatres, dates and other details of release for it to take action.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce submitted to the court that they have nothing to do with any ban on the film.
The court asked the AAG what the police authorities have to say about providing security. The AAG replied that if security is sought they were ready to provide it.
In its interim order on Tuesday the court directed the authorities to provide security if sought by the film makers as per law. “As per High Court directions, elaborate police security arrangements would be made at theaters where Kaala film releases. However, the concerned distributors should provide complete details about theatres and multiplexes where the film would be released,” said City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar.
Meanwhile the CM HD Kumarswamy has said that the government will abide by the HC direction and provide security for the film’s release. But he also gave his personal opinion that it was not a good time to release the film in Karnataka and advised the producers not to risk it.