Madras HC Says NO To Porkalathil Oru Poo’s Release For Portraying Sri Lankan War Crimes [Read Order]
The Madras High Court has upheld an order of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), which had refused to grant certification to a feature film in Tamil directed by K. Ganeshan, titled Porkalathil Oru Poo, portraying the life of a journalist named Isai Priya in Sri Lanka.
By allowing a temporary injunction application preferred by the relatives of Isai Priya, Justice TS Sivagnanam also restrained the director and producer of the film from releasing the film.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) orders refusing certification of the film was upheld by the FCAT observing that the film criticises India and the Sri Lankan Army and justifies Tamil Eelam by the LTTE, a banned outfit; the film portrays the brutal gangrape and killing of LTTE journalist Isai Priya and it contains too much of violence; the film is based on incidents in the life of a LTTE journalist; the map shows a separated Tamil Eelam by the LTTE and the last two reels deal with the brutal inhuman killing and rape.
Upholding the FCAT order, the court said the picture cannot be certified if it lowers the moral standards of those who see it or if it creates in the mind of the audience sympathy towards crime, towards wrongdoing or evil. “That apart, due regard should be had to the standards of the country and the people to which the story relates, and it shall not be so portrayed so as to deprave the morality of the audience. The prevailing laws shall not be ridiculed as to create sympathy for violation of such laws,” the court observed.
The court also observed that multiple tiers of authorities who viewed the film and heard the petitioner, had recorded a definite conclusion that in the film, there were derogatory references against the Sri Lankan Army and the Army men were depicted in poor light, which would strain the relationship between the two countries.
The film deals with the sensitive issue of bifurcation of Sri Lanka in two parts and the film having been judged from the point of view of its overall impact and the period depicted and the contemporary standards of a country and the people to which the film relates held that it is not fit for public viewing, the court added.
The interim injunction, as prayed for by the sister and mother of Isai Priya, was also granted by the court on the ground that the film is not a feature film (documentary), but a commercial venture with the sole object of making money with no personal research done by the petitioner, but purely said to have been motivated by watching a TV channel and the movie infringes the privacy of the plaintiffs, the family members of Isai Priya and their descendants.
Read the Order here.
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