Published On: Fri, May 12th, 2023

SC seeks West Bengal, TN response on ‘The Kerala Story’ ban

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought replies of the West Bengal and Tamil Nadu governments on a plea of the producers of “The Kerala Story” challenging the ban in the two states.

For West Bengal, we are seeking quashing of the ban order

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha questioned the West Bengal government saying the film is being screened in the rest of the country without any problem and there appears to be no reason for the ban.

“Movie is running in the rest of the country including in states having similar demographic composition and nothing has happened. This has nothing to do with the artistic value of the film. If people do not like the movie, they will not watch the movie,” the bench told senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the West Bengal government.

Singhvi said according to intelligence inputs, there may be a situation of law and order problem and peace among different communities may be breached. The bench also asked the Tamil Nadu government to specify measures taken to provide adequate security to theatres screening “The Kerala Story”.

“The state government cannot say that it will look the other way when theatres are attacked and chairs are being burnt,” the bench told advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for Tamil Nadu government, after he submitted that there is no ban on the movie.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for producers of the movie, said there is de facto ban in Tamil Nadu as theatres screening the movie are being threatened and they have dropped the screenings. “For West Bengal, we are seeking quashing of the ban order,” he said.

“We are issuing notices to both the states and they may file their response by Wednesday. We will take up the matter on Thursday,” the bench said. “The Kerala Story”, starring Adah Sharma, was released in cinemas on May 5. Directed by Sudipto Sen, the film claims women from Kerala were forced to convert to Islam and recruited by the terror group Islamic State(IS).

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