Makers of Tamil movie ‘Mersal’ was on cloud nine on Friday as the Madras high court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by an advocate seeking to revoke the censor certificate issued to the Vijay-starrer on the ground that the movie contains dialogues affecting the sovereignty of the country.
Censuring advocate A Ashvathaman who moved the PIL, a division bench of justices M M Sundresh and M Sundar said the dialogues in the film, allegedly against the GST and digital India schemes of the central government, were just an expression of the movie which cannot be interfered with by the court.
Questioning the real intention of the petitioner in moving the PIL, the bench said if he (petitioner) was really concerned about the public and the society, he should have stated campaigns against various social evils like untouchability and women safety. Instead, he targeted a particular movie, the court said.
“Even today media reported that the leader of the opposition in Tamil Nadu has criticised demonetisation. Can the court pass a gag order against him from making such statements? This is democracy, and people have their right to freedom of expression, and this applies to films as well,” the bench said.
Noting that the PIL had in fact helped the film get more publicity, the court dismissed the plea as devoid of merits.
According to the petitioner, the film contains scenes and dialogues against the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India. “False information about GST and digital India scheme would encourage people to evade tax,” he said.
Claiming that he had made representation to the Union ministry of information and broadcasting pointing out that censor certificate to film had been issued by CBFC in gross violation of Cinematograph Act, 1952, he said he had approached the court since the ministry failed to initiate any immediate action.