2 May 2023 5:58 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed disinclination to consider an interlocutory application challenging the release of movie "The Kerala Story". A bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna observed that challenging the release of a movie through an interlocutory application is not an appropriate remedy.The interlocutory application(IA) was filed in a pending writ petition which...
The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed disinclination to consider an interlocutory application challenging the release of movie "The Kerala Story". A bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna observed that challenging the release of a movie through an interlocutory application is not an appropriate remedy.
The interlocutory application(IA) was filed in a pending writ petition which was filed seeking action against hate speech crimes. Mentioning the application for urgent listing, Advocate Nizam Pasha said that the movie "is the worst instance of hate speech" and that it was "audio-visual hate propaganda".
However, the bench asked why the petitioner can't move the High Court and said that every challenge can't start with the Supreme Court. Later, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal joined the proceedings. Requesting the bench to read the transcript of the teaser and the trailer of the movie, Sibal said that the trailer has crossed already 16 million views and the movie is slated to release in multiple languages- Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu.
But the bench again expressed its difficulty in considering the challenge in an interlocutory application. Justice Joseph said that once a movie has been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification, the Courts cannot interfere unless the certification is challenged in a substantive petition.
"We have challenged in the IA, but it has to be in a substantive petition. I understand that", Sibal said while adding that the present recourse was adopted in view of the limited time available before the movie's release. He said that he will file a substantive petition tomorrow and seek an urgent listing by mentioning before the Chief Justice of India; but he pleaded the bench to look at the IA in the meantime and consider it in the post-lunch session. Justice Joseph then said that he won't be available in the post-lunch session as he has to attend a meeting.
"You can't start everything at the Supreme Court", Justice Nagarathna said. Sibal replied that in the case of "UPSC jihad" show of Sudarshan News TV, the Supreme Court had interfered to stop the telecast.
Justice Joseph said that he is aware of the controversy regarding the movie as he had watched the TV discussion regarding it. "We have an idea because we watched it on TV. We also watch TV", he said. But he again questioned the method adopted by the petitioner.
"If you have to get relief in a case, where you should get, I don't think this may be the forum...with the IA kind of thing", Justice Joseph said.
"Yes, but that's too late. Friday it is releasing. But we'll do what we can", Sibal replied.
The film directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah has attracted controversy for making claims that nearly 32,000 women from Kerala were converted through deceit into Islam and forced to join ISIS. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the ruling party of the state CPI(M) and the opposition Congress have come out against the movie, saying that it was peddling false propaganda to create communal hatred and to portray the state in a bad light.