Supreme Court lifts 'Akbar' ban


NEW DELHI -- India's Supreme Court has lifted the ban imposed by Uttar Pradesh on its film "Jodhaa Akbar" in an interim ruling.

"The court ruled in our favor after we filed an appeal Monday. So the film can now be opened again across the state (released there on about 55 prints)," UTMP director Siddharth Roy Kapur told The Hollywood Reporter. "However, there is another hearing scheduled for March 14 where the final judgment will be delivered by a three-member bench as per court procedures. We are hopeful that the final judgment will also be in our favor."

An earlier ban imposed by the state of Madhya Pradesh was overturned by a High Court there.

A final Supreme Court verdict lifting the ban would aid the film's release in Haryana, where it is under a partial ban, and in Rajasthan, where it has yet to open because of protests by a section of that region's Rajput community, who claim the film is historically inaccurate.

Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the film revolves around 16th century Mughal emperor Akbar and his Hindu Rajput wife, Jodhaa.