In response to the petition filed by the makers of The Kerala Story, the State of Tamil Nadu has informed the SC that there is no shadow ban on the movie.
In response to the petition filed by the makers of The Kerala Story, the State of Tamil Nadu has informed the Supreme Court that there is no shadow ban on the movie as alleged by the filmmakers. In its affidavit, the TN government stated that the theatre owners took the decision to stop the screening of the movie due to the poor audience response.
“The theatre owners had voluntarily stopped screening the film on May 7th onwards due to poor performance of actors/ poor response to the movie or lack of well-known actors in the movie,” the affidavit read.
The MK Stalin-led government informed the apex court that the movie was released across 19 multiplexes in the state and that the petitioners have not produced any document to show that the government stopped the screening of the film. The affidavit asserts that the state has no authority over the choices made by multiplex owners regarding film screenings. It further alleges that the petitioners are misusing the legal system and seeking publicity for their film through the petition.
The affidavit claimed that the state intelligence issued alerts to the district SPs and CPs in the cities to keep a vigil on the state’s law and order situation in the wake of the film’s scheduled release. “Over 965 police personnel including 25 DSPs were posted for the protection of the 21 movie theatres which had screened the film,” the affidavit said.
SC issues notice to TN govt
Earlier on Friday, the top court issued notice to Tamil Nadu on a de facto ban on the movie in the state. It also issued a notice to the West Bengal govt, challenging the decision of Mamata Banerjee’s government to ban the screening of The Kerala Story in the state.
“The movie is being exhibited all over the country, why should the West Bengal govt ban the movie, why should you not allow it to run? The film is running in different parts of the country with similar demographic profiles. This has nothing to do with the cinematic value of the movie, it may be good or bad,” the CJI said.
The bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha also asked the MK Stalin-led Tamil Nadu government to specify measures taken to provide adequate security to theatres screening the movie concerned.
“The state government cannot say that it will look the other way when theatres are attacked and chairs are being burnt,” the bench said. Notably, directed by Sudipto Sen, The Kerala Story depicts how women were forced to convert to Islam and recruited by the terror organisation Islamic State (IS).