The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on a petition seeking a ban on the screening of ‘MSG: The Messenger of God’, starring Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, in Chandigarh and Haryana.
The HC asked the petitioner Sikh body, Kalgidhar Sewak Jatha, why it had not attached a copy of the order passed by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, Mumbai, wherein the latter set aside the ban imposed by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The petitioner argued that it could not procure the copy of the order and would submit it on the next date of hearing. Following this, the HC adjourned the hearing to February 4. This is the second adjournment in the case within a week. Last Friday, another bench where the case was listed for hearing had adjourned it.
The movie is slated for release on February 13. It has already been banned by the Punjab government.
The division bench of justice SK Mittal, where the case was listed for hearing, asked the petitioner the produce a copy of the tribunal’s January 15 order, whereby the ban imposed on the public exhibition of ‘MSG’ by the CBFC was set aside.
The petitioner cited protests by various Sikh bodies in Punjab and argued that the release was likely to cause breach of peace and hurt religious sentiments of all communities, which might lead to demonstrations. It has also been argued that the dera head faced rape and murder charges and was under investigation by the CBI on various charges. The petitioner has raised objections over the reported dialogues in the movie and termed it as glorification of a “tainted godman”.
Doctor challenges order to register FIR
A Sirsa-based doctor, MP Singh, has moved the high court, challenging the single-bench order of registration of an FIR into the allegations of castration against dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and others.
Dr Singh, who is accused of performing surgeries at the dera’s behest, has submitted that the order to register an FIR against him was passed by the HC single bench without hearing him. He has submitted that he had nothing to do with the case, which was registered even as seven ‘castrated’ persons who were quizzed by the police had submitted that they underwent castration on their own.
The HC bench has issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Haryana government on the petition. Ram Rahim has already filed an appeal against the single-bench order. FIRs were registered by the CBI against the dera head and others on the allegations of castration earlier this month on the direction of the Punjab and Haryana high court.