New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking to suspend the trailer of the upcoming film, The Accidental Prime Minister. It asked the petitioner to file the appeal as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
Justice Vibhu Bakhru disposed of the plea which was filed by the petitioner in her personal capacity. The judge said that she had not examined the controversy raised in the plea.
The plea had alleged that provisions of the Cinematograph Act were being misused. It said the film producer had released the trailer affecting, harming the image of the office of the prime minister and giving it a bad name at the national and international level.
The film, which stars Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh, is based on a book of the same name by the former prime minister’s media advisor Sanjaya Baru.
The court noted the submission of the counsel for the Centre and the Censor Board that petitioner Pooja Mahajan stated in the first paragraph of her petition that she has no personal interest in the issue.
“The counsel for respondents state that the petition is in the nature of public interest and it be filed as a PIL,” the court said.
It said it would be open for the petitioner to file a PIL. The court also said a PIL is heard by a division bench and not by a single judge.
The plea, filed through advocate A Maitri, alleges that the released trailer of the film, which is scheduled for release on 11 January, defames the Constitutional post of the prime minister.
It has arrayed the Centre, through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Google (India) and YouTube as parties.
According to the petition, due to the release of the trailer, the “post of prime minister is getting defamed on day to day basis in the public domain before the public at large”.
It added that the disclaimer in the movie’s trailer says it is based on a book written by Sanjaya Baru but the “real facts are totally different. In fact, the disclaimer given in the trailer is untrue, false and fake”.
“By performing the character of Manmohan Singh, (ex-PM), Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, the performing actors/ artists have committed offences punishable under sections 416 (cheating by impersonation) of the IPC and therefore, the CBFC could not have given the certificate for screening/ exhibition of the film,” it claimed.
Good enough for an Oscar, believes Anupam Kher
Kher, who plays Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister, thinks that it should be India’s official entry to Oscars next year. In an interview with an entertainment website, the actor said that the film would be a welcome change from films which sell the poverty and backwardness of the country.
“For how long can we keep selling the poverty of India, the backwardness of India, the backward class of India, the class distinction in India, the elephants in India, the monkeys in India? This is a movie which talks about modern Indian politics, made with amazing amount of brilliance by the directors and the producers and the cast is phenomenal. We should send this kind of movie for Oscars,” Kher said.
In a time-lapse video shared on social media, actor Anupam Kher, who plays Dr Manmohan Singh in The Accidental Prime Minister, shared how he transformed into the character of the former prime minister: