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SC lifts ban on The Kerala Story series in West Bengal


NEW DELHI, May 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday halted the West Bengal government’s order to ban The Kerala Story.

A judicial panel chaired by India’s Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachod said the court intends to suspend the West Bengal government’s May 8 decision banning the screening of “Kerala Story”.

The court, which also includes Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, also directed Tamil Nadu to provide adequate security for each cinema hall for safe screening of ‘Kerala Story’ and to ensure the safety of movie-goers, and the state will not directly or indirectly thwart screening of the film.

During the hearing, senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, who is representing the West Bengal government, told the court that the state government had banned the film on the basis of 13 people, “You’ll get 13 people who will say they ban any film unless you’re showing them cartoons or sports.” ..”

The Supreme Court noted that the film was shown everywhere in the country. Singhvi said that the demographic in West Bengal is very different and needs to be taken into account.

The Chief Justice said, “You cannot expect the demographic to be the same everywhere… Power must be exercised in a proportional manner…”

You can’t make basic rights dependent on public display of feelings, the chief justice told Singhvi, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch the movie.”

The Chief Justice told the West Bengal Government Adviser that the state government can take steps in a particular area regarding the screening of the film, if there is an incident, but it cannot be banned across the state.

The West Bengal government has told the Supreme Court that The Kerala Story is based on manipulated facts and contains hate speech in multiple scenes, which could cause disharmony between communities, while justifying a ban on showing the film.

The state government, in a counter-affidavit, said that if the film were allowed to be shown, it would lead to a breach of the peace which would not be in the interests of justice.

“The film is based on manipulated facts and contains hate speech in multiple scenes that may hurt communal feelings and cause disharmony between communities which will eventually lead to law and order, as measured by various intelligence inputs received by the state government over a period of Time, the affidavit said.

The state government said it was maintaining public order and in the interest of the general public, and by exercising its authority under Section 6(1) of the West Bengal Cinemas Act (Regulation), it imposed a ban on the film being shown.

– Jans


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