Ban on PM Modi biopic valid, must be released only after polls: EC to SC

Ban on PM Modi biopic valid, must be released only after polls: EC to SC
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The Election Commission (EC) has reiterated that its decision to ban the release of the biographical film on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ongoing polls is valid, reports said.
The Election Commission had submitted its report in a sealed cover on the biopic ‘PM Narendra Modi’ starring Vivek Oberoi to the Supreme Court on Monday.
According to a report in IANS, a source familiar with the poll body’s report to the apex court said the officials who watched the film, opined that there is a high probability that a particular political party will gain electoral mileage if the film is permitted to be released during the ongoing polls.
Consequently, the poll body is justified in its decision to release the film after the last phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections on May 19.
The Supreme Court will decide on EC’s report on Friday. The poll panel submitted the report in the court through its counsel Rakesh Dwivedi.
The SC bench has also directed the EC counsel to share the report with the film’s producer, who had moved the apex court challenging the commission’s decision to ban its release despite getting the nod of the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC).
The source said that the movie is pivoted around popularising the character of Narendra Modi and also portrays him as a leader with a no-compromise approach.
“The content of the movie is uni-dimensional,” said the source.
The apex court had on April 15 asked the EC to watch ‘PM Narendra Modi’ and take a call afterwards on whether it should be banned.
Makers of the movie had on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the stay on its release by the EC.
The court agreed to hear the matter after the producers submitted the plea raising issues related to fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression.
Less than 24 hours after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) released Prime Minister Narendra Modi biopic with an “unrestricted” (U) certificate, the Election Commission on Thursday banned the screening of the film during the election period when the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Acknowledging that film could affect the level playing field for other candidates and parties, the EC order said such film that “subserves the purpose of any political entity or individual” should not be displayed in the electronic media.