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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

SC declines to intervene in plea against CBFC Clearance to The Kerala Story

The Kerala High Court did not get any direction from the Supreme Court on Thursday to take up a plea against the CBFC clearance given to the movie The Kerala Story.

The movie is about some Kerala women who joined ISIS after converting to Islam. It is set to release on Friday (May 5).

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi told a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud that the HC bench assigned to his plea did not sit on Thursday. He asked for a solution from the SC.

The bench, which also included Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala, said they did not have the plea before them and asked him to approach the HC itself. They also said that the HC had already refused to stop the release of the movie’s teaser on May 2 in another plea.

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The CJI said that the HC had given a detailed interim order and they could not interfere with it. He said that the HC had considered the matter and denied interim relief. Justice Narasimha agreed and said that there was an order in place.

Ahmadi argued that his plea was different from the one in which the HC gave the interim order and asked why it could not be heard. The CJI replied that they could not entertain multiple pleas on the same issue.

The CJI said that the film producer has to deal with many difficulties. He has already faced one challenge and the bench did not agree to stop the film.

He also passed a detailed order. He asked how many times they have to face such things in the same or different courts. He said, “You should also think about the film makers.

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They have invested their money and the actors have worked hard. I am very careful about stopping films.” He said that the market will decide if the film is good or not.

He said, “The CBFC has approved the film. The Kerala High Court did not stop the film. We said yesterday that we will not hear a petition under Article 32.

After these three steps, it is not right for us to hear an application like this.” He also said that “the HCs are not under us. They can have their own opinion”.

Ahmadi said that they first filed an IA in the SC and mentioned it before a bench led by Justice K M Joseph, who refused to hear it and told them to go to the HC. The CJI did not like the filing of the IA and called it a “made-up urgency”.

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He said, “You file an IA in a pending hate speech matter and challenge the CBFC certification. That bench rightly said go under Article 226.” He said that they should have gone to the Kerala HC in the beginning instead of filing the IA.

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