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Watch movie before taking decision on its release: SC to Election Commission on PM Modi biopic

The Supreme Court had asked the Election Commission to watch the movie and provide its decision to the SC in a sealed envelope by April 22

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Election Commission of India to watch the PM Narendra Modi movie and then take a decision on whether the movie should be allowed to release or not. The apex court has asked the Election Commission to provide its view on the movie by April 22 in a sealed envelope.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the producers contended that the EC took a cue from SC order and banned it without even watching the film. Following which the SC asked the Election Commission to watch the movie and then take a call on whether the movie should be banned or not. The matter was adjourned by the court till then.

Earlier, the Election Commission had stalled the release of the film stating threat to ‘level playing field’ and ‘free and fair elections’. In its order, EC stated that ‘political contents’ depicted in the movie could pose a serious threat to the level playing field as it may create an impression of the truthfulness of such content being shown through Television/Cinema/Internet-based entertainment programs/Social Media. The order also added that in the greater interest of securing the level playing field and conduct of free and fair elections that such political content ought to be regulated during the election period to prevent violation of Model Code of Conduct.

Prior to this, the Supreme Court had given its approval to the biopic’s release after it dismissed the petition filed seeking a stay on it. The film was initially scheduled to release on April 5 but due to obstruction from opposition parties, the release got deferred to April 11, the same day first phase of Lok Sabha elections starts. However, after EC’s order, the movie got postponed indefinitely till the elections conclude. Hence, the producers approached SC to appeal against the EC’s order.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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