Movie "The Accidental Prime Minister" Politically Motivated & Defames Former PM: Plea In Delhi HC

Movie The Accidental Prime Minister Politically Motivated & Defames Former PM: Plea In Delhi HC

A petition has been filed before the Delhi High Court, demanding a direction to Youtube and Google to take down the trailer of the upcoming movie, "The Accidental Prime Minister", alleging that the trailer is "affecting, harming the image of the Constitutional post of Hon'ble Prime Minister of India and giving a bad name at the national as well as at the international level".

The petition, filed by Delhi-based designer Pooja Mahajan, alleges that the trailer violates Section 5-B of Cinematography Act and Rule 38 of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, which it says allow only the title of the movie to be displayed.

It also contends that even though the movie claims to have been based on the same-titled book authorised by Sanjaya Baru, the trailer is not in fact based on the book. It bases this claim on the use of words such as "the elections season", "nuclear deal", "Kashmir issue", etc. in the trailer. This, it says, shows that the trailer is "motivated".

The trailer, it asserts, defames former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who enjoys national and international repute, and is causing "unaccountable damage" to the name and fame of the office of the Prime Minister of India.

The petition further alleges that the actors in the movie have committed the offence of cheating by impersonation under Section 416 of the Indian Penal Code. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), it therefore submits, could not have granted a certificate for screening and exhibition of the movie.

"…besides that, the film producers had no authority to violate the mandate of Constitution of India which provides respect towards the Constitutional functionaries. It seems that filmmakers, producers have made an attempt to make commercial gains and the act of "impersonation" have been committed deliberately to defame the office of Prime Minister just to hype the excitement amongst the prospective viewers," it submits.

Besides, it also contends that the trailer of the movie is spoiling India's relations with foreign states and is ultimately affecting the sovereignty and integrity of India. Highlighting CBFC's responsibility in such a scenario, it submits,

"Respondent No. 4 /CBFC is under statutory obligation under Cinematograph Act 1952 and Rules to judge the entire Trailer in its entirety from the viewpoint of its overall impact and should have examined in the light of country's sovereignty and integrity , country's image before entire world, as regarding unaccountable damage to the office of Prime Minister."

Additionally, it points out that the trailer violates Youtube's policy against impersonation as well, and submits that the movie makers should've taken a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Dr. Manmohan Singh and Ms. Sonia Gandhi before showcasing it.