Plea to stop release of Modi biopic rejected by SC
New Delhi, Apr 09: The Supreme Court has rejected a plea to stall the release of the PM Narendra Modi biopic.
The court said that it is too premature for it to take a decision on this matter. The court also said that the film is not yet certified for it to intervene. Further the Bench said that the Election Commission of India will take care of what to do in case the film is released on April 11.
The court said that it cannot decide on whether the film would influence voters or not on the basis of a 2 minute trailer.
On Monday, the court had said, "why should we direct that an individual be given a copy of the film."
At the outset, the Chief Justice said the film was not yet certified and referred to an April 4 statement by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Prasoon Joshi. Joshi had told PTI that the film was undergoing due process of examination and certification.
Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the Congress activist, said the producer Sandip Ssingh had come out with a statement that the biopic would be released on April 11.
Taking note of his submission, the bench said the producer may have come out with such a statement anticipating that the film would get the certification from the censor board. The bench said that as of now, there was no cause of action for challenging release of the film.
When Singhvi repeated the plea for a stay on the biopic, the bench said: "How can we stop the release of the film? It is not yet certified. There is only a statement from the producer for its release."
Singhvi submitted that there was no level playing field and allowing the release of the film would be a direct assault on the structure of the Constitution.
However, the bench said it cannot decide on the grievances raised by the petitioner as it did not know what was there in the film.
Singhvi also submitted that the judges themselves can see the film in advance to decide the matter.
He said the lead actor, Vivek Oberoi, has been named as the star campaigner for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. His father, who was also an actor, is a card holder of the BJP.
"You have the power to call for the screening of the movie," the senior advocate told the bench. "The film has considerable ramifications as it would be screened for the coming 40 days across the country," he said.
The plea has sought deferment of release of the biopic till the completion of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, alleging that it was designed to "manipulate, influence and impress viewers and voters".