On Thursday, The Supreme Court of India ordered a stay on the ban levied by the West Bengal government on the screening of the film The Kerala Story in the state.
The Supreme Court said statutory bodies cannot use public intolerance as an excuse to boycott a film and the bench said it is the duty of the state government to maintain the law and order situation as the film has been approved certification by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Naramsimha and Justice JB Pardiwala ordered this while hearing a petition filed by the makers of the film.
The Bench also directed the makers of the film to ensure that the film shows a disclaimer stating that is a fictionalised version of events and there is no official data to prove the claim of 32,000 women converted to Islam.
The West Bengal government on May 8 had issued an order to ban the screening of the The Kerala Story in the state citing reasons of a possible disturbance in the law and order situation.
Regarding the challenge of the Madras High Court to the CBFC certification to the film , the apex court said it would be listed during July as the Court first will have to watch the movie.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, who was presenting the makers in the Court argued that the ban was ordered by the West Bengal government on the opinion of only thirteen Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers who said it can cause a law and order situation in the state.
He further argued that art is meant to be provocative in nature and it is the government’s responsibility to handle the law and order situation and said it is no excuse to put a ban on the film.
The Kerala Story is a film directed by Sudipto Sen starring Adah Sharma which was released on May 5 which is about a group of women from Kerala who are brainwashed to join ISIS, a terror group.
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