SC to Examine Plea of ‘The Kerala Story’ Makers Against Ban by Bengal on Friday

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The filmmakers submitted that the state government has no power to ban a movie which has been certified for public viewing by the the Central Board of Film Certification.

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine on Friday a plea by the makers of ‘The Kerala Story’ against the West Bengal government’s order against the screening of the controversial movie.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the filmmakers, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice P.S. Narasimha.

Salve sought urgent listing of the petition and said: “We are losing money every day and now there is another state which says it will do the same.”

The bench said it will list the matter on Friday, and added, “serve copies on the state of West Bengal”.

The filmmakers submitted that the state government has no power to ban a movie which has been certified for public viewing by the the Central Board of Film Certification.

The filmmakers claimed the state government cannot cite law and order issues to stop the screening of the movie.

They argued that it will result in the violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed to them.

On Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the ban on screening of ‘The Kerala Story’ across the state.

She has also instructed the West Bengal Chief Secretary, H.K. Dwivedi to take the necessary steps on this count.

The petitioners also contended that the movie is facing a ‘shadow’ ban in Tamil Nadu in view of the decision not to screen the film.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear on May 15, a plea against the Kerala High Court’s refusal to stay the film.

This is the fourth time when the apex court would consider a plea related to the movie.

A plea for urgent hearing was mentioned before the bench by senior advocate Kapil Sibal on behalf of the petitioners.

The plea challenged the May 5 order passed by the high court declining any relief, saying there was nothing offensive against Islam or Muslims in the film. — IANS

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