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Upholding “Artistic Freedom”, SC Refuses To Stay Release Of ‘Indu Sarkar’ [Read Order]

Live Law News Network
27 July 2017 8:18 AM GMT
Upholding “Artistic Freedom”, SC Refuses To Stay Release Of ‘Indu Sarkar’ [Read Order]
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Holding that it cannot curb “artistic freedom”, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court today refused to stay the release of Madhur Bhandarkar flick ''Indu Sarkar, set in the backdrop of Emergency.

This meant that the movie can be released tomorrow that is Friday as scheduled.

The bench of justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar dismissed a petition filed by Priya Singh Paul  who claims to be the biological daughter of late Sanjay Gandhi.

She had moved Supreme Court after Bombay High Court rejected her plea.She said the move was also maligning the image of Sanjay and former prime Minister Indira Gandhi. After perusing the High Court Order the Bench held as follows;

"On a perusal of the impugned order, it transpires that the High Court has observed that the writ petition was not in the nature and character of a public interest litigation, but in the individual capacity of the petitioner. It has observed certain aspects with regard to the status of the petitioner and finally opined that the petitioner's claim on the basis of unclear status is not acceptable and untenable. As far as the status of the petitioner is concerned, we do not intend to say anything in that regard as that might be ultimately a matter of civil litigation. As far as the film is concerned, the High Court has taken note of the disclaimer, the merger of facts and fiction and the sanctity of the certificate granted by the Central Board of Film Certification and non-challenge by anyone else and has, accordingly, declined to interfere".

Producer Director of the movie Madhur Bhandarkar claimed that the movie is a work of fiction and has no semblances to the Gandhis.

Advocate Dhruv Mehta contended that it is a dramatization of a situation portrayed in the movie and, in any case, a film director has the fundamental right to express himself as long as it remains within its boundaries. It is also put forth by him that the Central Board of Film Certification initially had suggested fourteen cuts and, thereafter, the Revision Committee reduced the cuts and the same have been carried out. He has conducted a proper research and taken the facts from the published books and, therefore, his right to freedom of expression cannot be curtailed by a prohibitory order.

"As far as the exhibition of the movie is concerned, we are of the convinced opinion that it is an artistic expression within the parameters of law and there is no warrant or justification to curtail the same", said the Bench.

Read The Order Here


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