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'Battle for Banaras' documentary producer moves High Court

Manu Kumaran, the producer of the documentary 'Battle for Banaras', moved the Delhi High Court on May 31 against the Central Board of Certification and Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) decision not to grant certificate to the documentary.

The Censor Board in its October 15, 2015 order refused certification to the documentary as it found the film objectionable and violated the guidelines of the Film Certification of Films for Public Exhibition issued under Section 5-B (2) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 without identifying any specific frame, scene or moment in the film, which the board believed to be objectionable.

The writ petition contends that the impugned order dated April 4 of FCAT (upholding censor board’s ruling) is arbitrary, unreasonable and infringes on Manu Kumaran’s fundamental rights. It seeks quashing of the order and direction from the honorable court to the respondents to sanction and issue a certificate for universal viewing and public exhibition of the film.

Ashim Sood has filed the writ on behalf of Kumaran. Ashim studied law at Harvard Law School and National Law School of India. He began his career in the chambers of Soli J Sorabjee and has previously served as counsel in the office of the Attorney General for India.

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