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Supreme Court declines to consider plea by Muslim body against movie 'The Kerala Story'

By LawStreet News Network      03 May, 2023 08:39 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court declines to consider plea by Muslim body against movie 'The Kerala Story'

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a plea by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind for a direction to include a disclaimer in the movie 'The Kerala Story' that it is a work of fiction.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha refused to consider the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution.

The bench said it cannot allow the Supreme Court to become a "super Article 226 court" (a super High Court) and entertain everything raised using Article 32 of the Constitution. Article 226 provides power to the High Courts to issue instructions or writs to government authorities.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Vrinda Grover mentioned the Muslim body's plea before the court, contending that the Kerala High Court was not hearing the matter before the film's release on May 5.

Grover argued that they (the movie makers) are vilifying the entire community and marketing it as the truth and also, they do not have a disclaimer also that this is a work of fiction.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, opposing the plea on behalf of the movie makers, pointed out that the Kerala High Court is already seized of the matter.

The bench asked petitioners to move Kerala High Court which is hearing similar matters and said the high courts are manned by seasoned judges and Kerala High Court judges are aware of local situations.

The counsel, representing the Muslim body, said the apex court can ask the high court to hear the cases relating to the release of the film on May 4. The film is slated for release on May 5.

After hearing the matter, the top court said the relief sought under Article 32 can be pursued before the high court and “we do not entertain it on this ground and we grant liberty to the petitioners to move the High Court. The High Court can take this up for early hearing”.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to immediately hear a plea seeking a stay on the release of the controversial movie ‘The Kerala Story’.

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna had said that the censor board has already cleared the movie and the petitioners should rather challenge the film’s certification before an appropriate authority.

In its plea, the petitioner claimed, “The movie is clearly aimed at spreading hatred and enmity between different sections of society in India. The message the movie imparts is that non-Muslim young women are being lured into converting to Islam by their classmates and subsequently, trafficked to West Asia where they are forced to join terrorist organisations”.

The film, produced by Sunshine Pictures Private Ltd and directed by Sudipto Sen, is slated for release on Friday, May 05, 2023 in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu across the country.

The movie made on girls who fell victims of 'Love Jihad' and landed in Syria and Afghanistan has caused strong reactions among some sections and political parties, which vociferously demanded ban on it.

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