Court lifts ban on Vishwaroopam
Chennai, Jan 29 : The Madras High Court on late Tuesday lifted the ban on South Indian superstar Kamal Hassan's latest movie Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu.
The verdict was passed by Justice K Venkataraman after a day-long hearing on Tuesday.
The state government however has said it intends to appeal against the verdict, defending the ban in order to maintain "communal harmony".
According to reports, the judge, who saw the film over the weekend, had asked Haasan to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement with the government.
Haasan on Thursday had moved the Madras High Court and filed a petition after the Tamil Nadu government banned the screening Vishwaroopam for 15 days. The court, on the same day, ruled that the movie could not be release till at least Monday.
The Rs 95-crore movie was supposed to be released on Friday before running into opposition by groups protesting its "anti-Muslim content" and was banned by the government.
Tamil superstar Rajinikanth came out in support of Haasan and urged Muslim groups in Tamil Nadu to help him release Vishwaroopam.
"I am very upset about the developments in the Vishwaroopam issue. I have known Kamal for 40 years now. I know Kamal would not hurt anyone. From the very fact he showed the movie to Islamic community says he respects them," Rajinikanth said in a statement.
The Tamil superstar urged Muslim 'friends' to "sit with Haasan and discuss the issue and allow its release without affecting its storyline".
The state government banned the film after Muslim groups objected to its screening after a special screening for them.
The film was not screened in other south Indian cities such as Hyderabad and Bangalore on Friday.
Vishwaroopam is written, directed and co-produced by Haasan that features him in the lead role.
The film also has Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose, Andrea Jeremiah and Jaideep Ahlawat in supporting roles.
The film was shot in many locations, including largely in USA, while sets resembling Afghanistan were constructed in Chennai.