SC refuses to stay ban on PM Narendra Modi biopic, says ‘premature’ to ban before CBFC issues certificate

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, dismissed the petition by lawyer and Congress member Aman Panwar, seeking a stay on the release of the biopic, PM Narendra Modi, citing the violation of the model code of conduct. The court stated that the responsibility of determining the violation lies with the Election Commission, and it would be ‘premature’ to ban a film before the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) issues a certificate. 

On Monday, the court had stated that it could not pass a plea on the stay of the release of the film because the CBFC had not yet cleared the film. The court had also asked the petitioner to present the clear objections to the film, and its content. 

According to BarandBench.com, on Tuesday, the counselor to the petitioner, Abhishek Manu Singhvi noted the three major connections of the film with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Singhvi pointed out that one producer of the film is a convenor of the BJP, while another producer is a BJP member. The lawyer also stated that a fourth producer had signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Gujarat government at Vibrant Gujarat summit.

Earlier, responding to the notice by the Election Commission, the makers of the film had stated that the film has no connection with the ruling party and that it was funded privately. The Election Commission had then stated that it had no authority to prevent a film’s release, and said authority lies with the CBFC. 

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PM Narendra Modi, directed by Omung Kumar B, features Vivek Anand Oberoi in the lead role of Narendra Modi, and is scheduled to release in theatres on 11 April. 

However, the court has now passed the responsibility of determining any objectionable content within the film to the CBFC. 

The court also deemed it a ‘waste of time’ to be supervising such cases. 

As per the CBFC website, the film is yet to be updated as certified. With two days left, it looks likely that the film will be certified by tomorrow for a theatrical release. 

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