THE Supreme Court on Monday directed the Election Commission to re-examine its earlier order and take an informed decision on banning pan-India release of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after watching the full movie. The top court directed the poll panel to take a decision by April 19 and submit its report in a sealed cover to the court.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said that it will consider the EC report and hear the matter on April 22. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for film producers who have challenged the EC’s ban on the biopic’s release till the current general elections are over, said the poll panel has taken the decision based just on watching the promo, not the entire movie. He suggested that the producers are willing to hold a special screening for the poll panel or its committee on Tuesday or Wednesday, so that they can take an informed decision by Friday.
To this, the bench asked EC’s counsel Amit Sharma, whether the poll panel has watched the movie or not. He said the entire movie was not available and a decision to ban the release was taken after watching the trailer. The bench then asked the poll panel to watch the full movie and then take an informed decision on whether its release should be banned or not. The EC had on April 10 stalled the release of the film until the polls end, asserting that any biopic material with the potential to disturb the level-playing field during elections should not be displayed..
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