HC approves 'Eklavya' as Indian entry for Oscar

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Mumbai, Oct 18 (UNI) National interest would be served by not interfering with the decision of Film Federation of India (FFI) to select 'Eklavya--The Royal Guard' as official entry from India for the prestigious Oscar awards, the Bombay High Court observed today.

While deciding not to enter into the controversy on merits or demerits of selection of ''Eklavya'', a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, observed that ''What is gone is gone'' and adjourned till November 22, further hearing on the petition filed by Director Bhavana Talvar to allow FFI to formulate written rules so as to prevent any such controversy in the future.

Senior Counsel V R Manohar today advanced arguments on behalf of FFI, saying that it was a private body and the High Court cannot consider fairness of any decision of a private organisation under its writ juridiction. Though FFI was discharging a public function in monopolistic nature, no monopoly was conferred by the state, he said.

After considering averments made by FFI, the court made it clear that it was not considering the issues raised in the petition on merits, although Ravi Kadam, counsel for Talvar requested the court to consider certain points raised in the plea.

On this point the judges observed that they were concerned only with the conduct of some members of FFI and there should be some kind of basis for functioning and where name of the country was involved certain standards were expected.

Manohar agreed with the judges, saying there must be fairness in every aspect of society and informed that FFI had already decided to have clear written rules to avoid such controversies in the future.

Considering the willingness of the FFI to have rules to make the selection process fair and transparent, the court adjourned the matter till November 22.

Talwar, director of Pankaj Kapoor starring film 'Dharm', which lost to 'Eklavya for the nomination, had moved the High Court after FFI chose 'Eklavya' as the official nomination for the annual Academy Awards. She contended that her film was rejected by the official selectors despite receiving worldwide critical acclaim and alleged that the entire selection process was biased and vitiated due to affiliation of certain members of the selection committee to Vidhu Vinod Chopra, producer of 'Eklavya'.

UNI

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