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PM Modi biopic: EC to take final call today, Supreme Court to hear Congress' plea on April 8

Prasoon Joshi, The Chairperson Of Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC), Said The Film Is Undergoing Due Process Of Examination And Certification.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Nabanita Chakorborty | Updated on: 05 Apr 2019, 12:00:59 AM
PM Modi biopic: EC to take final call tomorrow, SC to hear Congress' plea on April 8 (File Photo)

New Delhi:

The Election Commission of India has said it will take a final call on the release of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindi biopic film, on Friday, as Opposition raised the pitch for deferring the release of the film by citing poll code violation. Early in the day, producer Sandip Ssingh took to Twitter to confirm that the release of the biopic titled PM Narendra Modi has been pushed indefinitely and the team will update regarding the screening of the film anytime soon. The biopic was set to be screened across the country on Friday, April 5. Originally, it was scheduled to hit the theatres on April 12, but producers had advanced it by a week, claiming "public demand".

Meanwhile, there are also reports that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is still undergoing due process of examination and is yet to give a certification or clearance to The Prime Minister Narendra Modi for theatrical release. In what could be another big blow for the makers of the film, the Supreme Court has also agreed to hear Congress' plea, seeking deferment of the release of the biopic till the completion of upcoming Lok Sabha polls, on April 8.

EC to take a final call on the release of PM biopic:

Speaking to reporters in the national capital, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said, "We have sought comments from the producer of the movie and also from BJP's general secretary...that also has been received. The file is under examination and it has been listed for tomorrow". The Commission will take a final call tomorrow, Saxena added.

The official said the EC's decision, based on the directives of Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, will be a response to the complaint raised by Congress in this regard.

Saxena said the Commission has already told the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to take a call on the issue as it had "no role" in the issue. The EC officials said as Lavasa and Chandra were travelling to South India, the decision could not be taken earlier.

PM Modi biopic awaits CBFC clearance:

Sources in the CBFC said the film was yet to get a clearance. Prasoon Joshi, the chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), said the film is undergoing due process of examination and certification. Speaking to the news agency PTI, Joshi said, "Since there are a lot of queries around the certification of the film, (I) would like to give a clear picture: the film is going through the due process of examination and certification according to the requisite guidelines and is yet to be certified as the process is not complete at this point".

Supreme Court to hear Congress' plea seeking post-poll release:

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a Congress leader's plea which sought deferment of the release of the biopic till the completion of upcoming Lok Sabha polls alleging that it was designed to "manipulate, influence and impress viewers and voters". A bench of Justices S A Bobde, S Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee said it will hear the plea on Monday. 

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for petitioner advocate Aman Panwar, spokesperson of the Congress, said two high courts have refused to interfere with the release of the movie. He sought urgent listing of the matter alleging that all four producers had "deep and pervasive links" to the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). The bench initially observed that it would not like to entertain a fresh petition and would like to hear the appeals of the high court order.

The Congress made a formal complaint to the Election Commission over the release of the film. Opposition parties, including the Congress, said the film would give undue advantage to the BJP in electioneering and its release should be deferred till the elections are over.

The film, fronted by Vivek Oberoi and directed by Mary Kom maker Omung Kumar, was in the news with various political parties saying that releasing it less than a week before the general elections was a violation of the model code of conduct.

The seven-phased Lok Sabha polls begin on April 11 and end on May 19. The counting of votes for all phases will be taken up on May 23. The model code of conduct, which calls for a level playing field for all parties and candidates, came into force on March 10 as the elections were announced by the EC.

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First Published : 04 Apr 2019, 09:41:32 PM