Decide representation to withhold release of movie based on religious conversion, Delhi HC to Centre

Provocation depends on mental status of a person... We can't issue notice on your provocation, said the bench.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday directed the Centre to decide a representation to withhold the release of a movie, based purportedly on the dilemma of religious conversions surrounding inter-religion marriages.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, while dealing with a PIL by All India Practicing Lawyers Council, said the government has the power to consider the grievances raised by the petitioner and take necessary action.

We direct the concerned respondent authority to decide the representation of the petitioner dated August 31 in accordance with law, rules, regulations, government policy applicable to the case, on the basis of the evidence on record as expeditiously as possible and practicable and keeping in view the allegation that the movie is going to be released on October 8 on YouTube and other platforms, 

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The court observed that the petitioner was yet to watch the entire movie, ‘The Conversion’, and has approached it on the basis of the trailer which was stated to contain provocative content.

Provocation depends on mental status of a person… We can’t issue notice on your provocation, said the bench.

Counsel representing the petitioner contended that the trailer depicted bias and communal content against a particular religion and the release of the movie should thus be withheld.

In its petition filed through lawyer Adil Sharfuddin, the petitioner submitted that the trailer of movie, which was released on YouTube in August 2021, indicated that it has the potential of communal polarization amidst of upcoming UP election .

Since the background of the movie has been set out in Benaras, UP. Video of the trailer has received 7300 comments as on September 2021. Analysis of the comments reveals that they are appreciative of the Trailer and already catalysing the Hindu Sentiments in a negative manner, the petition stated.

The Respondent film maker choose to release the movie at a platform where they did not have to undergo any censorship as a result the Film Trailer has been watched by more than 31 Lakh people already, it added.

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