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Supreme Court dismisses plea against release of biopic on PM modi says too much of court’s time wasted on non issue

The Supreme Court said even if the film is released on April 11, as claimed by the Congress activist, it will be appropriate for him to seek a redressal from the Election Commission.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 09, 2019 13:36 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
New Delhi
The apex court said it was not entertaining the petition for the stay on the release of the film as the plea is premature as the movie has not yet been certified by the Censor Board.
The apex court said it was not entertaining the petition for the stay on the release of the film as the plea is premature as the movie has not yet been certified by the Censor Board.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
         

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by a Congress activist seeking a stay on the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the Election Commission can look into the matter.

The top court said whether the film PM Narendra Modi tilts the electoral balance in favour of a political party, that is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, is an issue that can be decided by the poll watchdog.

“It will be premature for this court to decide since the film is yet to be certified. Even as such a certificate is to be given, it’s a matter that the EC is to decide,” a bench comprising Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice Deepak Gupta and justice Sanjiv Khanna said.

The bench said even if all the claims of the petitioner are found to be true he would be entitled to relief mainly on the ground that the film should not be screened on the date of the polls and 48 hours before the voting takes places at the specific place.

“On the ground aforesaid, we do not entertain the petition at this stage,” it said.

The top court also observed verbally that too much of its time is being wasted on a non-issue.

The film starring Vivek Oberoi follows Modi’s life from his humble beginning to his rise first as the Gujarat chief minister and then as the Prime Minister.

Directed by Omung Kuman, the film has been criticised by opposition parties, who claim that the biopic could give undue advantage to the BJP in the Lok Sabha election 2019 as it will be released in theatres before the polls. The Congress and the Left have complained to the Election Commission against the release of the film saying it violates the model code of conduct.

The seven-phase Lok Sabha election will begin on April 11 and continue till May 19.

First Published: Apr 09, 2019 12:48 IST