The Kerala Story: SC to hear plea against ban by West Bengal govt on May 12text_fields
The Supreme Court Wednesday agreed to hear on May 12 a plea by the makers of the controversial film The Kerala Story against the ban imposed on the film by the West Bengal government and the decision of the Tamil Nadu multiplex association to withdraw it from its halls.
The plea was mentioned before a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha by Senior Counsel Harish Salve on behalf of the petitioners.
"We are losing money everyday and now another State says they will do the same," Salve said.
Salve said the petition challenges the ban by the West Bengal government and the "de-facto" ban in Tamil Nadu.
‘The Kerala Story’ follows the story of a group of women from Kerala who are forcefully converted to Islam and made to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The film has triggered a controversy, with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying that at first glance, the film appears to peddle lies aimed at creating communal polarisation and spreading hate propaganda against the state.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday ordered a ban on the film in West Bengal, to avoid “any incident of hatred and violence”.
Tamil Nadu had also issued an “alert” anticipating protests in connection with the row. The Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners’ Association, meanwhile, withdrew it from multiplexes.
The BJP criticised Mamata for her decision, with Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, who said he had watched The Kerala Story, saying: “Mamata Banerjee has done injustice to the sisters and daughters of West Bengal by banning the film”.
On May 5, the high court had refused to stay the release of the movie and said the trailer does not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole.
It had said the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has examined the movie and found it suitable for public exhibition.
The high court had also noted that the producers have published a disclaimer along with the movie which specifically says it is fictionalised and a dramatised version of events and that the film doesn't claim accuracy or factuality of historic events.