A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the January 7, 2019
, order of the Delhi High Court which had rejected a petition seeking to ban the trailer of the upcoming movie, "The Accidental Prime Minister".
The Delhi High Court rejected the petition on the ground that the petition was more in the nature of a public interest litigation (PIL) and thus left it open for the petitioner to move the court again by filing her petition as a PIL. The petition filed by Pooja Mahajan a Delhi-based fashion designer had sought a ban on the film and its trailer alleging it defamed the constitutional post of the Prime Minister.The movie, which stars Anupam Kher as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to release on January 11, 2019. In the appeal filed in the top court, Ms. Mahajan has sought a stay on exhibition of the trailer of the film on YouTube and to suspend the release and exhibition of the movie during the pendency of the matter. The plea, filed through advocate A. Maitri, has claimed that "at present if the film is allowed to be released, then it will cause unaccountable damage to the name and fame of the office of Prime Minister of India." It alleged that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) should not have given certification to the film as actors have performed the "character of public personalities", like Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi which constitutes an offence under Section 416
of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
. "It is a known fact that film producers have not taken any consent/permission from Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to perform their characters or to perform their political life or to dress up in the same way as they had been doing in their normal life or to copy their voice in any manner," the plea alleged. Further, the plea claimed that it "seems that film makers, producers have made an attempt to make commercial gains and the act of impersonation has been committed deliberately to defame the office of Prime Minister just to hype the excitement among the prospective viewers." The plea also alleged that if the film will be released, friendly relations with the US and other foreign states were likely to be affected.