The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking stay on the release of the Vivek Oberoi-starer biopic, ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi’, stating that it is for the Election Commission (EC) to take a call whether the movie violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) or not.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also observed that the film has not yet been issued the certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification.
During the hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on the behalf of the petitioner, contended that most of the people associated with the film are linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He further argued that the film’s release would disturb the “level playing field” at the time of the elections.
The top court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Aman Panwar.
The plea sought a stay on the release of the film on the ground that the filmmakers are members of the BJP.
In his plea, he had contended that all the four producers of the movie have “deep and pervasive” links to the BJP.
Earlier, the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court had rejected the plea seeking a ban on the movie. The petitioner, a Congress Seva Dal leader Yogesh Yadav, had contended that the movie was being released during the elections to “influence” the voters.
The Bombay High court had also disposed of a similar plea seeking a stay on the release of the movie.
The Supreme Court on April 8, refused to intervene in the release of the movie stating that it cannot do so unless it was clear on what the petitioner was objecting to in the movie.
On April 4, the makers of ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ announced that they had postponed the release date of the film. It is now set to release on April 11.
The film has come under a cloud with opposition parties, including Congress claiming that its release was planned with the intention of influencing voters in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.
The biopic depicts the journey of Modi from his humble beginnings to his years as a Chief Minister and finally his landmark election as the Prime Minister.
Vivek Oberoi is essaying the role of Modi.
The Lok Sabha election is scheduled to be held in seven phases, beginning April 11 and concluding on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.