HC clears Kamal film for release, sees nothing offensive

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Chennai, May 29 (UNI) Madras High Court today dismissed two writ petitions by Hindu organisations, one seeking a ban against the release of the Kamal Hassan-starrer 'Dasavatharam' and another contending that certain scenes in the film were aimed at tarnishing the image of Hindus.

Dismissing the petitions by the International 'Sri Vaishnava Dharma Samrakshana Society' and 'Kalyana Suba Samithi', a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice K Venkatraman and Mr Justice Sathyanarayanan, ruled that scenes such as clash between Saivites and Vaishanvite sects could not be termed as offensive.

''Once the Censor Board cleared a film and issued a certificate to screen the movie for public, the court cannot interfere against its screening'', the Bench pointed out.

''Freedom of expression cannot be challenged in courts'', the Bench said.

'Dasaavatharam' in which Kamal Hassan plays ten different characters, including US President George Bush, is directed by K S Ravikumar and produced by 'Ascar' Ravichandran of 'Ascar' films.

In recent times, three films, one produced and directed by Kamal Hassan ('Virumandi'), another produced by Kamal ('Mumbai Xpress') and the third ('Vasool Raja MBBS') in which he had played the lead role, ran into legal trouble over the titles and had to be cleared by Madras High Court for release, it may be recalled.

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