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No decision soon on Modi’s biopic

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, Apr 07: The Election Commission is unlikely to take before Monday a final decision on whether to restrain the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi till the Lok Sabha polls are over, as the Supreme Court is slated to hear the issue that day.

The EC has been made a party in a plea filed by a Congress worker who wants the top court to delay the film's release claiming it "disturbs" level-playing field for candidates in the Lok Sabha polls.

No decision soon on Modi’s biopic

Sources said, now any decision will be taken after evaluating the developments in the top court.

SC declines urgent hearing on plea challenging release of Modi biopicSC declines urgent hearing on plea challenging release of Modi biopic

However, there is a strong view in the EC that it should not restrain the release of the biopic -- "PM Narendra Modi" -- and should leave it to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to take a call on the issue, sources said.

Opposition parties including the Congress have alleged the film will give undue advantage to the BJP in electioneering and its release should be delayed until the elections are over.

The seven-phased Lok Sabha polls begin on April 11 and end on May 19.

The model code of conduct, which among other things, calls for an even-playing field for all parties and candidates, came into force on March 10 when the elections were announced.

"PM Narendra Modi" is now scheduled to be released on April 11, the day the first phase of polling takes place.

A functionary pointed to at least two Supreme Court rulings about movies.

In one of the rulings, the SC had directed the West Bengal government to ensure satirical film 'Bhobishyoter Bhoot' is screened without obstruction. The movie was critical of the then state chief minister.

"We also have to see the latest Delhi High court ruling which said the biopic screening should be decided by the EC," he said, adding that the model code is silent on flims and thus it remains a "grey area".

He said the EC has to keep the court verdicts in mind.

Narendra Modi biopic release date: SC to hear plea to delay Vivek Oberoi film on April 8Narendra Modi biopic release date: SC to hear plea to delay Vivek Oberoi film on April 8

The Commission had earlier sent a notice to the makers of the film following a meeting with a Congress delegation, which sought a ban on its release ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

On Monday, the Bombay High Court disposed a plea against the release of the biopic. The court had said that the Election Commission will deal with the issue.

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