The Hyderabad High Court has issued notices to Mallika Sherawat and the Centre on a petition against a poster of a film that shows the Bollywood actress draped in the three colours of the national flag.
The court has asked them to reply to the notice in four weeks.
In the poster of the film Dirty Politics, due for release later this year, Ms Sherawat is portrayed sitting on top of a car with a red beacon light, wearing the Indian tricolour and seemingly not much else.
The public interest litigation alleges that this is “obscene use of the Indian Tricolour” and also that “the State Emblem of India has been used for cheap publicity.” It alleges that the poster “is an insult to the nation’s honour.”
The PIL also alleges that a building in the background of the poster is “the State Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan.”
The petitioner has submitted that the film, which also stars well-known actors like Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Jackie Shroff, is based on the Bhanwari Devi murder case of 2012. Bhanwari Devi was an auxiliary nurse who went missing in 2012. Her body was found days later and the investigation unraveled an alleged sleaze and blackmail scandal. Two politicians have been charged with murder in the case.
The High Court has asked Ms Sherawat, the Central Board for Film Certification and the Union home Minister to reply to the notices issued to them within four weeks.