Watch it and tell us: SC to PM Modi biopic petitioner

Watch it and tell us: SC to PM Modi biopic petitioner

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass any order on a plea by a Congress leader to stop the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The court asked him to produce materials to show how the film was objectionable.

"We don't know the content of the film. Go and first see the film and then tell us," a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Congress media panelist Aman Panwar.

Singhvi said that the trailer of the film has already been released which affected the level playing field during general elections. He also pointed out that Vivek Oberoi, the lead actor, has been listed as the BJP's star campaigner.

The court posted the matter for hearing on Tuesday and asked the petitioner to come up with materials to show how the film prejudiced rival political parties.

On this, the counsel made a plea for making the film available to the petitioner. The court, however, rejected this plea as well. “We fail to see how such a direction can be issued,” the bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said.

The court also cited a news report quoting Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Prasoon Joshi that the film titled 'PM Narendra Modi' has yet not been given a certificate.

The petitioner contended that the film was a "sheer propaganda piece for furthering political ambitions".

With the model code of conduct in force, he said, the release of the film — produced by people connected to the ruling party — would affect free and fair polls, democracy and, as a result, the basic structure of the Constitution.

"All four producers have deep and pervasive links to the BJP. Three of them are not mere sympathisers or supporters, but actual card-carrying official members of the party in power; two of them have held official posts in the party machinery. The fourth producer was a participant in 'Vibrant Gujarat'," the petition said.

It also claimed that CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi was listed and credited as one of the artistes who worked on the film. "In other words, the CBFC has acted as the judge in its own cause," it said.

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