The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass an order yet on a plea seeking a stay on the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Central Board of Film Certification is yet to certify the film. PM Narendra Modi will be released on April 11, the first day of voting for the Lok Sabha elections.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjeev Khanna said it will hear the matter on Tuesday and could pass an order if the petitioner, Congress leader Aman Panwar, brings on record the reasons for his objection to the movie, Bar and Bench reported.
The bench referred to CBFC Chairperson Prasoon Joshi’s interview with PTI on April 4, in which he said the movie was yet to be certified. “The film is going through the due process of examination and certification according to the requisite guidelines and is yet to be certified as the process is not complete at this point,” he said.
“The movie was driven by little to no artistic inspiration and was instead designed to manipulate, influence and impress viewers and voters in the upcoming elections,” the petitioner said in his plea. He alleged that the movie is a “propaganda vehicle being timed to release in coordination with the upcoming elections”.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the petitioner, said that the film violates the Model Code of Conduct. When the bench asked the petitioner whether he had watched the film, Singhvi replied in the negative.
However, the court refused the petitioner’s request that a copy of the film should be given to him. “Why should we direct that individual be given a copy of the film?” the bench asked. “We fail to understand why such a direction be given.”