Election Commission stays release of Modi biopic

The court had said it would be premature to intervene as the film had not yet been certified and any circumstance that arose from its release on that day and after would lie within the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

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The Election Commission has finally shown the spine and banned the release of the film Prime Minister Narendra Modi a biopic on Modi, starring Vivek Oberoi, during the elections. It said any such film that subserves purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media.

Directed by Omung Kumar, the film – PM Narendra Modi has been at the receiving end of opposition parties who said election campaigning should be on the same playing level. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had rejected a petition filed by a Congress activist seeking a stay on the film’s release.

The court had said it would be premature to intervene as the film had not yet been certified and any circumstance that arose from its release on that day and after would lie within the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The film was to be in cinemas on April 11. The Commission had sought information from the Central Board of Film Certification on the status of certification of the film.

The biopic had received a ‘U’ certificate. Initially, the poll panel had issued a notice to the makers of the biopic and the BJP following the opposition’s demand that the film’s release be postponed till the Lok Sabha elections are over.

However, the film’s producers – Anand K. Pandit, Sandeep Ssingh, Manish Acharya and Suresh Oberoi had said they had no link with the BJP and had put in their personal money to make the film.

The halt on the screening of the prime minister’s biopic is seen as a major setback for the BJP that has been riding high on the Modi wave since the 2014 win. The party had even pulled in the biopic’s lead actor, Vivek Oberoi as the BJP’s star campaigner in Gujarat.

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Election Commission stays release of Modi biopic
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The court had said it would be premature to intervene as the film had not yet been certified and any circumstance that arose from its release on that day and after would lie within the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
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The Policy Times