AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday questioned Narasapuram MP K Raghurama Krishnam Raju as to what his interest was in the PIL filed against the ban on the Chintamani Pada Natakam in the State.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy on Wednesday asked him about this while admitting an Implead Petition (IP) filed in favour of the ban imposed on the staging of play ‘Chintamani’ by Tirupati-based Sri Kasi Annapurna Vasavi Arya Vysya Vruddhasramam and Nityanna Satram.
Two other Implead Petitions submitted by Andhra Pradesh wing of International Vysya Federation, and Vijayawada Urban District Arya-Vysya Sangham president Konakalla Vidyadhar Rao, both seeking the ban, were withdrawn after the Bench said that too many petitions were being filed.
Advocate for the main petitioner, K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju (Narsapuram MP) contended that the government could not ban the entire play due to the objectionable portrayal of a character. In this regard, he cited a Supreme Court judgment that spoke about curbing artistic freedom. The Bench said that the livelihood of one group should not be such as to hurt the sentiments of another. If so, it must be judicially reviewed. They have the right to respond to each other's actions and to express their feelings, the Bench stated. The court adjourned the hearing by two weeks after ordering the issuance of notices to the respondents and posted the matter to the 23rd of this month.
The Andhra Pradesh government in January issued orders banning the performance of the Chintamani drama in the state. AP Special Chief Secretary, Dept of Culture, Tourism & Youth, Rajat Bhargava issued GO No.7 banning the Chintamani drama as a character in the drama portrayed the Arya Vysya's in a derogatory manner.