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The Election Commission has stated that the Modi biopic starring Vivek Oberoi be banned till the last day of polling as the movie was nothing but a hagiography.  In its report submitted to the Supreme Court, the EC stated that the movie paints a fawning picture of one politician while at the same time showing the opposition parties in poor light.

The EC had filed its decision on the movie in a sealed envelope to the SC two days back and a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had adjourned the case to be heard on 26 April. The EC decision followed a SC directive that a special screening be done for EC members . The screening was held for a committee of seven Election Commission officials on 17 April. It report said that the movie

On 10 April, the EC passed a stay order against the Modi biopic, just a day before its release, citing poll code violation. The election commission had stated in its order that any biopic material made for the purpose of any political entity which has potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in the electronic media.

Subsequently, the producers of the film approached Supreme Court on 17 April, through Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi stating that the decision of the Election Commission was arbitrary since they had not watched the movie but had formed an opinion merely by watching its trailer. The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India passed an order observing the argument made by Mukul Rohtagi and directed the Election Commission to watch the movie and thereafter consider the matter of public screening of the movie once again.

The CBFC had granted a ‘U’ certificate to the film on 10 April and had asked the director, Omang Kumar, to make a few minor changes. The film was scheduled to be released on 11 April but could not be released on the account of the ban.

–India Legal Bureau

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