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Supreme Court asks petitioner to put all objections to PM Narendra Modi on record, lists matter for tomorrow

The Supreme Court of India today stated that it is not possible to determine if the Narendra Modi biopic, PM Narendra Modi, violates the model code of conduct without viewing the film.

Hearing a petition requesting deferment of the film’s release, the court asked the petitioner to list all his objections before the court and posted the matter for hearing on 9 April.

The petition demands a stay on the film’s release, scheduled for 11 April, saying it could influence voters during the upcoming general election. The first phase of voting is scheduled for 11 April, the day of the film’s release.

Petitions were earlier submitted by opposition parties to the Election Commission of India and to the Bombay and Delhi high courts, all of which refused to decide on different grounds.

The Supreme Court, too, said it would not be possible for it to decide if a film violates the model code of conduct without even a cursory viewing. The website barandbench.com reported that the court asked the petitioner to bring all his objections to the content in the film on record.

However, the court also refused to allow the petitioner access to a copy of the film to view the content.

The petition was filed by Aman Panwar, a Congress party spokesperson and lawyer, on 4 April. According to barandbench.com, Panwar claimed in his petition that the film is a “propaganda vehicle timed for release in coordination with the upcoming elections”.

In their statement to the Election Commission, the film’s producers had denied any ties with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said the film was funded privately. 

However, in the last week, the film’s lead actor, Vivek Anand Oberoi, has been signed on to be the star campaigner for the ruling party in Gujarat. The actor also went on record on Sunday to state that he ‘might contest elections’ in 2024, if the possibility opened up.

PM Narendra Modi is directed by Omung Kumar B, and is set for release in theatres on 11 April. 

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