The Supreme Court Friday refused to interfere with the Election Commission’s order banning release of the biopic on PM Narendra Modi until May 19.
The producers of the film appealed to the court that the ban is in contradiction to the clearance given by the Central Board of Film Certification.
A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said they will not interfere in the matter. Earlier this week, the EC had shared a report in a sealed cover to the apex court’s panel headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. It reiterating that the ban the release of the Vivek Oberoi-starrer was valid during the polls.
SC had directed that the report be served to the petitioner (the producers of the movie).
Earlier on April 17, officials of the EC had watched the film in a special screening on the directions of the top court.
The film producers challenged the poll body’s ban and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the stay on the release on April 12. On April 12, makers of the Omung Kumar directorial had moved the apex court, challenging the stay on the film’s release. The producer of the film, Sandip Singh, had said that the poll panel banned the movie without watching it. Therefore The Supreme Court asked the Election Commission to watch the film and reconsider its stance.
Several Opposition parties had complained to judicial authorities and the poll body about the film, alleging that it was a propaganda vehicle for the ruling BJP. It traces Modi’s life from childhood till the 2014 General Elections.
Earlier on April 24, the Election Commission had described the film on PM Modi as a “hagiography” that may disturb the level-playing field if it is released during elections.
To secure a level-playing ground, the poll panel was asked to take a call on the film’s timing. It has been awaiting clearance to be released after the EC issued an order barring the screening of political films during the Lok Sabha elections.