Supreme Court asks Election Commission to review Narendra Modi biopic decision

Updated: Apr 16, 2019, 08:27 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Supreme Court on Monday directed the Election Commission to watch the film PM Narendra Modi, a biopic on the Prime Minister, and submit its report in a sealed cover to the court by the end of this week.

Modi Biopic
Modi Biopic

Yesterday, the Supreme Court asked the Election Commission to watch the biopic, PM Narendra Modi, starring Vivek Oberoi and review its decision to put the film's release on hold. "We are informed that the EC had no occasion to watch the movie or a substantial part of it. The order was passed on viewing the trailer. We are not commenting on the merits of the order, but we direct the EC to view the movie either by itself or by an authorised body and thereafter to give a thought to what petitioners have to say and then consider the matter for public viewing of the movie," said the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court scheduled the matter for next hearing on April 22. The filmmakers had moved the apex court challenging the EC's order delaying its release date.

The petitioners contended that the poll body order violated the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution.

Last week, the EC issued an order barring the screening of political films during the polls.

The film starring Vivek Oberoi was slated to release on April 11, the first day of polling for the seven phased Lok Sabha elections.

"Any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in electronic media, including cinematograph during the operation of the MCC (Model Code of Conduct)," the EC said in its order.

Earlier on April 9, the apex court had rejected a plea filed by a Congress leader, Aman Panwar to stay the release of the biopic. It had also refused to consider the issue whether the screening would tilt the balance in the favour of a political party.

The court had said let the EC decide the matter.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi biopic media screenings cancelled

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