Fresh plea filed in Supreme Court against ban on movie 'The Kerala Story'

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The petitioner has made States of Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal as respondents, which had decided to impose restrictions on screening of the movie. The Kerala Story, starring Adah Sharma in lead role, was released in cinemas on May 5. Notably, a number of BJP-ruled States including Uttar Pradesh decided to make the film tax free.

A fresh plea has been filed in the Supreme Court against the states which have banned or restricted screening of movie 'The Kerala Story'.

The movie depicts the concept of 'Love Jihad' in which young Hindu and Christian girls are entrapped to convert to Islam and made to join the terrorist organization, ISIS.

Filed by Delhi resident, Puneet Kaur Bajwa, the plea contends that it is the duty of the State government to ensure the safety of the citizens and also to maintain peace and harmony. 

"The States which are screening the movie are rather peaceful and the States which have banned this movie are rather facing communal unrest as there are citizens of the country who want to watch this movie but are being deprived of it and also people who are going to watch the movie are being attacked and are also being thrown out of the theatres by the police force forcibly," the writ petition submits. 

Maintaining citizens that have a right to know what is happening in the country, the fresh petition filed through advocates Vineet Dhanda and J P Dhanda says that every movie has some content or the other which might hurt feelings of one or the other section of the society, we cannot go on depriving people to watch these movies by imposing a ban on them.

"It is the responsibility of the State Government to maintain law and order in the State. We are a secular country, We cannot deprive the citizens of the country from their Fundamental Rights just on the pretext that it will create disharmony. One or the other section of the society will always be in dispute as we are a country of diverse cultures and religions. It is the duty of the State Government to maintain peace, imposing ban is not and can never be a solution," Bajwa has stated.

Bajwa has further claimed that, "The States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are not taking concrete steps in preventing forceful conversions of Hindu and Christian girls to a particular religion for the purpose of trafficking and doing anti-India activities after brain washing and torturing those innocent girls." 

The movie 'The Kerala Story' is inspired by true events and it is the fundamental Right of the citizens of our country to not only watch this movie but to also educate their daughters about nasty and evil propaganda of forceful conversions of Hindu and Christian girls by fringe elements of a particular religion for the purpose of trafficking and joining terrorist organizations to hurt the peace and harmony of our country, she has contended.

Besides seeking a direction to lift the ban on the movie and make it tax free, the petitioner has also pleaded for directions to take strict legal action against the perpetrators of forceful conversion, prevent the illegal trafficking of Hindu and Christian girls for the purpose of terrorism and rehabilitate the victims.

The Supreme Court had last week refused to stay the release of the movie, while a bench of CJI DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala were of the view that the success of the movie should be determined at the box office. The High Courts of Kerala and Madras also rejected a plea in this regard. 

Notably, the Supreme Court will today hear the plea filed by the producers of The Kerala Story, challenging West Bengal's decision to ban the screening of the film.

The makers of the movie have also challenged the de facto ban imposed on the move in Tamil Nadu wherein an "alert" was issued anticipating protests, due to which theatres withdrew from releasing the film.

Case Title: Puneet Kaur Bajwa vs. State of Kerala and Ors