Udayavni Special

SC refuses to entertain plea seeking cancellation of ‘Article 15’ film certificate


Team Udayavani, Jul 8, 2019, 6:25 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea which sought cancellation of the CBFC certificate to ‘Article 15’ alleging that the movie contains “objectionable dialogues” which fan rumours and spread caste hatred.

A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai asked the petitioner’s counsel to approach the appropriate authority with the grievances on the film.

“You go to the appropriate authority under the act,” the bench told the counsel appearing for petitioner ‘Brahman Samaj of India’, which had moved the apex court through its national organising secretary Nemi Nath Chaturvedi.

The cousel then withdrew the plea with the liberty to approach the authority concerned on the Ayushmann Khurrana starrer that hit the screens on June 28.

The petitioner had moved the top court seeking setting aside of the June 18 certificate issued by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952 to the movie, produced by Benaras Media Works Pvt Ltd.

It also sought a direction to stop the release of the movie.

The petitioner had claimed that title of the movie is a “clear misuse of Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution” and is in “contravention of section 3 of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper use) Act”.

“Further, respondent number one (Centre) and two (CBFC) were requested to stop/bar respondent number three (Benaras Media Works Pvt Ltd) i.e. the film producer/director from using casteist remarks against any particular caste in the dialouges of the film for cheap personal commercial gain and stop spreading rumours and caste hatred in the society,” the plea alleged.

It claimed that CBFC’s decision granting certification to the film prima facie violates provisions of Article 19 (1)(a) read with Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India.

It also alleged that release of the movie is likely to cause “severe damage” to public perception about Article 15 of the Constitution and its origin and may lead to a trend in film industry of naming title of films in the name of different Articles of the Constitution.

While Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, Article 19 protects certain rights regarding freedom of speech.

Article 19(2) deals with the state’s powers to impose certain reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech.

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