“Let audience decide”: Supreme Court refuses to stay release of The Kerala Story

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Said to be depicting forcible conversions for ISIS recruitments in Kerala, the film has caught the ire of many persons who call it propaganda. Directors maintain that its based on true events and so do some members of the public

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the release of the movie “The Kerala Story” slated for release on May 5.

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.  “There is lot of labour which goes into movies. Actors, staff, directors put a lot of labour and it unfair to stay release. If its not good, people will not go,” the CJI said as he expressed reluctance to stay the release of the film, even as the petitioner, who claimed the movie promoted hate speech, wanted to be effectively heard.

“Firstly, we have said that you should approach under Article 226, secondly, the CBFC has already approved it for release and lastly, the Kerala HC has already rejected your interim prayer for staying release,” said the CJI.

The plea was therefore rejected. 

The film, produced by Sunshine Pictures Private Ltd and directed by Sudipto Sen, is slated for release on Friday, May 05, 2023 in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu across the country. 

The movie made on girls who fell victims of 'Love Jihad' and landed in Syria and Afghanistan has caused outrage among some sections of the society.

Yesterday, in another plea of a Muslim Body, Supreme Court refused to stay its release. The Madras HC has also refused to stay its release today.

Earlier on Tuesday, a bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna declined to entertain an interlocutory application argued by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate M Nizamuddin Pasha in a pending PIL by Qurban Ali, contending the movie was a part of hate speech as the top court noted the film has already been cleared by the Censor board.

The Kerala High Court has also refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on its release recently.