NEW DELHI — Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), set up by the Election Commission has taken strong note of full page advertisements of the trailer of Narendra Modi biopic in two Hindi newspapers and termed it ‘a surrogate advertisement with political overtures.’
The committee also issued a show-cause notice to the film’s producers, music company T-Series, YouTube channel running the trailer and the newspaper publishers on Wednesday, as per reports.
Citing chapter 15, para 2 of the model code of conduct, the notice states that expenditure on such advertisements which relate to the prospect of election of a particular candidate has to be added to the account of the election expense of the candidate, reports The Hindu.
Additionally, according to Section 171H of the Indian Penal Code, expenditure on advertisements for promoting a candidate without authority from the candidate is prohibited. The notice, which has been served to the production company Legend Global Studio, the YouTube channel on which the trailer is running, T-series, and the publishers Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagran, has asked for certification, if any, obtained from the MCMC. If they fail to produce the certification by March 25, action in accordance with electoral laws and rules will be initiated, said the notice.
A T-series executive Varun Arora, said the ad was not issued by the company. He said T-series was only the music partner and is hosting the trailer on its channel. Legend Global Studio was unreachable for comment.
Modi biopic producer, star appear before EC, defend film
“Political parties wanted us to postpone or should not release the film either. We have submitted papers with the proof and documents that it’s nothing like that. There should not be a political agenda behind this. There should be a reason if the movie’s release has to be shifted from April 5 to any other date. Now they will get back to us,” he said.
(With media inputs)