A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the January 7 order of the Delhi High Court which had disposed of a petition looking to ban the trailer of the upcoming movie, “The Accidental Prime Minister”.
The high court had disposed of the writ petition against the trailer but left it open for the petitioner to file public interest litigation (PIL).
The filing of an appeal in the top court came hours after a division bench of the high court dismissed the PIL, which had sought a ban on the film and its trailer stating it defamed the constitutional post of the Prime Minister.
The film is scheduled to release on January 11. The movie, which stars Anupam Kher as former prime minister Manmohan Singh, is rooted on a book of the same name by Mr Singh’s then media advisor Sanjaya Baru.
In the appeal filed in the top court, petitioner Pooja Mahajan has sought a stay on an exhibition of the trailer of the film on YouTube and to suspend the release and exhibition of the movie during the pendency of the issue.
The plea, filed by advocate A Maitri, has claimed that “at present, if the film is allowed to be released, then it will cause unaccountable damage to the name and fame of the office of Prime Minster of India.”
It stated that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) should not have given certification to the film as actors have performed the “character of public personalities”, like Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi which constitutes an offense under section 416 (cheating by personation) of the Indian Penal Code.
“It is a confirmed fact that film producers have not taken any consent/permission from Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to perform their characters or to perform their political life or to dress up in the same way as they had been doing in their normal life or to copy their voice in any manner,” the plea alleged.
It claimed that it “seems that filmmakers, producers have made an attempt to make commercial gains and the act of impersonation has been committed deliberately to defame the office of Prime Minister just to hype the excitement among the prospective viewers.”
The plea also stated that if the film will be released, friendly relations with the US and other foreign states were likely to be affected.
“It seems that film has been produced in a selected manner and it clearly reveals that it’s political propaganda with some other motives,” the plea said. It states that the promo of the film showed that the movie has been produced “simply to damage the image”1 of Manmohan Singh.