SC again declines plea seeking stay on release of ‘The Kerala Story’

NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court on Thursday rebuffed a fresh attempt by a petitioner seeking a stay on the release of the film ‘The Kerala Story, saying that a filmmaker invests a lot of money and time in making a movie and actors also put in a lot of work, and the market will decide if it is not up to the mark.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala said: “One, the CBFC has released the film; two, the Kerala High Court declined to stay the film; and three, yesterday we said we are not going to entertain a petition under Article 32. Now, after these steps have been completed and now for us to hear an application like this is not proper.”

During the hearing on the plea, filed by journalist Qurban Ali, the bench emphasised that before rushing to the court against the movie, a thought should be given about the filmmaker and actors and how many times will this be challenged?

The bench told petitioner’s counsels, senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi and Shoeb Alam, to look at the filmmaker, he cannot be made to face courts for the release of his film and the Kerala High Court had applied its mind while refusing interim relief of staying the film release.

Ahmadi submitted that a letter was sent to the acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, who said that a bench has been constituted.

The registry later informed the petitioner that the bench will not hold sitting on Thursday and also the Kerala High Court is on summer vacation, Ahmadi contended.

However, the apex court refused to entertain the plea against the movie.

The bench pointed out that the petitioner initially tried to challenge the release of the film through an interlocutory application in a pending hate speech case, which was turned down by another bench.

Ahmadi requested the bench to allow him to argue his case in the court before the release of the film.

The Chief Justice told the counsel to work out remedies before the high court.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind seeking a direction to the Centre and others not to allow the screening or release of the movie in theatres, OTT platforms and other avenues, and also that the trailer should be removed from the Internet. — IANS

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