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Plea In Delhi High Court Seeks Stop On Release Of Malayalam Movie, "Aquarium"

Shreya Agarwal & Nupur Thapliyal
12 May 2021 8:18 AM GMT
Plea In Delhi High Court Seeks Stop On Release Of Malayalam Movie, Aquarium
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The Delhi High Court is tomorrow scheduled to hear a plea by a Catholic nun urging for issuance of directions to stop the release of Malayalam film 'Aquarium', which is set to air on an OTT platform on May 14, on the grounds that it is "blasphemous" in nature and would hurt the religious sentiments of the Christian community at large.The petitioner, Jessy Mani, is a catholic nun and...

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The Delhi High Court is tomorrow scheduled to hear a plea by a Catholic nun urging for issuance of directions to stop the release of Malayalam film 'Aquarium', which is set to air on an OTT platform on May 14, on the grounds that it is "blasphemous" in nature and would hurt the religious sentiments of the Christian community at large.

The petitioner, Jessy Mani, is a catholic nun and a psychologist by profession - a native of Kerala, settled in Delhi. She has opposed the release of the film on the grounds that it allegedly "depicts the sexual relationship of nuns with two priests" and an "emotional relationship with Jesus Christ". The plea seeks steps to be taken by the Union of India and Saina Infotainments Pvt Ltd which runs the OTT platform "Saina Play".
Starring actors Sunny Wayne, Honey Rose and Rajshri Ponnappa in lead roles, the film is alleged by the petitioner to be portraying the "religious life of catholic priests and nuns...merely as sex toys". The plea elaborates that "there are scenes of sexual relationships among same-sex, between priests and nuns and sex with animals," which "in a highly derogatory manner," end up "tarnishing the
reputation of the Catholic Church and its members." The overall effect is alleged to be "demoralizing of the the members who joined in the priestly order and nunship."
Jessy Mani states that the movie which was originally completed in 2012-13 and named 'Pithavinum Puthranum Parisudhathmavinum' meaning "Father, Son and the Holy Spirit", had the word Parisudhathmavinum deleted later by the producers to remain non-controversial.
Further, the film was also denied certification by the Central Board of Film Certification, for violating censorship standards, after which public exhibition attempts of the movie were "dropped in 2015".
However, the producers with revived hopes are releasing the movie on the OTT platform, "Saina Play" by merely changing the title.
The petition prays for a writ of mandamus to direct the Union to take steps to stop the release of the movie, for being blasphemous in nature, and hurting the religious sentiments of Christians at large.
Alternatively, the plea seeks for directions to the Union and "Saina Play" to take necessary decision on its representation on the subject matter, thereby deferring the release of the movie, till a decision is taken on it.


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