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There Can't Be Any Extra Constitutional Restraints: SC Pulls Up WB Govt For Unofficial Ban Of Film "Bhobishyoter Bhoot"

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
26 March 2019 4:06 AM GMT
There Cant Be Any Extra Constitutional Restraints: SC Pulls Up WB Govt For Unofficial Ban Of Film Bhobishyoter Bhoot
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The Supreme Court pulled up the West Bengal Government after it was brought to its notice that the film ""Bhobishyoter Bhoot" has not been screened within the limits of Kolkata. The bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta also disapproved the action of Joint Commissioner of Police in directing the producer to arrange for a private screening of the film for...

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The Supreme Court pulled up the West Bengal Government after it was brought to its notice that the film ""Bhobishyoter Bhoot" has not been screened within the limits of Kolkata.

The bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta also disapproved the action of Joint Commissioner of Police in directing the producer to arrange for a private screening of the film for a few senior officials, apprehending that the screening of the film may lead to "political law and order issues". The bench said:

"The State of West Bengal is duty bound, once the film has been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification ("CBFC") to take necessary measures to protect the fundamental right to free speech and expression of the producer and the director and, for that matter, of the viewers to see the film unrestrained by extra-constitutional restraints."

In an interim order passed on 15th March, the court had directed the West Bengal Government to ensure that the screening of the film "Bhobishyoter Bhoot" takes place without unlawful obstruction. This order was passed while issuing notice to WB Government on a petition by the producers of the film complaining that the film was taken off from the theaters following an 'unofficial ban' by the Government. 
The bench, on Monday, also directed the Joint Commissioner of Police to forthwith withdraw the communication that was addressed by him to the producer of the film. It also directed the Principal Secretary, Department of Home, Government of West Bengal and the Director General of Police to immediately issue communications to all the theaters where film was being originally screened intimating them that there is no ban on the screening of the film.

The state has also been asked to take necessary steps for protecting the properties of the theater owners and the safety of the members of the public who wish to view the film.

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