Court reverses 'Akbar' ban


NEW DELHI -- A court in the central state of Madhya Pradesh has overturned a ban on the film "Jodhaa Akbar," Mumbai-based UTV Motion Pictures said Wednesday.

The film was banned on Friday in the state, prompting a UTV appeal.

"The Madhya Pradesh High Court has ruled in favor of UTV, and we are commencing the screening of 'Jodhaa Akbar' immediately across the state," UTVMP director Siddharth Roy Kapur said. "This is a huge boost to all advocates of creative freedom in our country, and we are very grateful to the court for recognizing the validity of our stand."

Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the $10 million epic tells the story of 16th century Mughal emperor Akbar and his Hindu Rajput wife, Jodhaa, who hailed from Rajasthan. The film has still not been released there, following protests by some Rajput community groups who claim the film has historical inaccuracies.

"In Rajasthan we are still speaking to the concerned authorities and hope to come to a solution soon," Kapur added.

Meanwhile, UTV said that in its first 10 days of release, the film has grossed about $19 million worldwide, including $13 million in India.