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Supreme Court asks EC to watch PM Narendra Modi, take call on ban

Makers of the movie had on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the stay on its release by the EC.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Election Commission (EC) to watch Vivek Oberoi starrer ‘PM Narendra Modi’ biopic and take a call afterwards on whether it should be banned.

The apex court also asked the poll body to submit its view to the court by April 22 in a sealed cover.

Makers of the movie had on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the stay on its release by the EC.

The court agreed to hear the matter after the producers submitted the plea raising issues related to fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression.

Less than 24 hours after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) released Prime Minister Narendra Modi biopic with an “unrestricted” (U) certificate, the Election Commission on Thursday banned the screening of the film during the election period when the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Acknowledging that film could affect the level playing field for other candidates and parties, the EC order said such film that “subserves the purpose of any political entity or individual” should not be displayed in the electronic media.

The filmmakers’ petition came after the apex court on Thursday in a judgement had come down heavily on the West Bengal government for imposing a shadow ban on a Bangla film “Bhobishyoter Bhoot” based on political satire and imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the state government.

After the EC decision, the film can now be released only after May 19, the last phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Omung Kumar directorial titled PM Narendra Modi has Vivek Oberoi in the lead role and it chronicles the life of the PM. After the CBFC green signal, the makers of the film had said they would release it on 11 April.

Earlier last week, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition filed by a Congress activist seeking a stay on the release of the Modi biopic and said the Election Commission would be the “appropriate” authority to take a call on it.