The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Election Commission to watch PM Modi biopic and decide on whether the movie should be banned or not. The top court asked the poll panel to give its view to the court by April 22 in a sealed cover. Makers of the movie had moved the Supreme Court against stay on its release by the poll panel. Last week, the poll panel had banned the screening of the Vivek Oberoi-starrer biopic 'PM Narendra Modi' during the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, saying any such film that subserves the purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had dismissed the petition filed by a Congress activist seeking a stay on the release of the biopic, saying the Election Commission was the right forum to decide the issue. The court said that it will be decided by the poll panel whether the movie can violate the Model Code of Conduct.
“Since the movie was not certified at that time by the Censor Board it could not entertain the petition seeking a ban on the film,” the top court had said.
Later on Tuesday evening, the Censor Board had certified the biopic and the Congress activist on Wednesday succeeded in securing a ban on its release from the Election Commission.
The film was originally scheduled to hit the theatres on April 5 but due to certain hurdles by "powerful people", the release got delayed to April 11, the same day first phase of Lok Sabha elections starts. Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who is portraying Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his controversial biopic, has reacted sharply after the film’s release got postponed to April 11.
Meanwhile, lead actor of the film Vivek Oberoi had slammed those raising issue against the political drama. I don't understand why some people are overreacting like this. “Why are such senior and famous lawyers like Abhishek Singhvi ji and Kapil Sibal ji wasting time on filing a PIL on such a modest film? Don't know if they are scared of the film or of Chowkidar's 'danda',” Oberoi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
On the portrayal of the Prime Minister on the silver screen, Oberoi said that, “We are not projecting Modi ji as larger than life, he already is larger than life. We are not projecting him as a hero, he already is a hero ,not only for me but for crores of people in India and abroad. Its an inspirational story which we brought to the screen.”
Last month, the Bombay High Court had refused to interfere with the release of the biopic. "The Election Commission has already taken note of the issue and shall deal with it," the court had said. The bench disposed of a Public Interest Litigation filed by Satish Gaikwad, national president of the Republican Party of India (I), who said the film, if permitted to be released for public viewing, would violate the model code of conduct imposed by the EC.
The plea had questioned the timing of the film's release and said if released, it was likely to earn the prime minister electoral mileage.