‘Ban Order Unsustainable’: SC Maintains West Bengal Government Ban On ‘The Kerala Story’ | News from India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the West Bengal government’s May 8 order banning the showing of the film, “The history of Kerala“.
State theaters will now be free to hold public screenings of the controversial film.
A panel chaired by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said that it is the duty of the state government to maintain law and order as the film has been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
“Bad movies make a box office bomb,” the bench said.
“The legal provision cannot be used to reward intolerance of the audience. Otherwise, all films will end up in this position,” said the court, which also includes Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, during the hearing which is still in progress.
The bench noted that the ban order by the West Bengal government is not tenable.
He further said that in Tamil Nadu, extra security can be provided for every cinema hall showing the film and the necessary arrangements can be made for the viewers who want to see the film.
“No action shall be taken by Tamil Nadu or its officials or agencies, including the police, to prevent the film from being shown,” the court said.
The apex court said appeals against the Kerala and Madras high courts’ refusal to suspend the film would be heard in July.
Senior attorney Harish Salve, who was appearing for the film’s producer, argued that states cannot appeal the film’s granting of certification.
On Friday, the supreme court had sought answers from the governments of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu on a separate appeal by the producers of ‘The Kerala Story’ that the film would not be shown in theaters in these two states.
While West Bengal banned the film three days after its theatrical release, Tamil Nadu did not ban the film but exhibitors withdrew from theaters due to safety concerns.
(With contributions from agencies)


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