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.
1st producer is Convenor of BJP Commerce Cell.
3rd Producer is BJP member.
4th producer signed an MoU with Gujarat govt at Vibrant Gujarat summit for Rs. 170 cr
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) April 9, 2019
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.
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.
#ModiBiopic: Whether the film will help BJP in the upcoming elections is for Election Commission of India look into.
Pre-mature for this Court to decide since Certificate has not been granted.
Supreme Court dismisses petition challenge to Modi Biopic.@barandbench
— Murali Krishnan (@legaljournalist) April 9, 2019
The court also deemed it a ‘waste of time’ to be supervising such cases.
#ModiBiopic – Heard Dr. A.M.Singhvi at length. CJI said lot of court’s time is taken on such issues. Singhvi said Court’s time is meant for such cases. CJI says we do not think so. Singhvi said this involves basic structure. CJI does not agree.
— Namit Saxena (@namitsaxena2007) April 9, 2019
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.