In the matter of Sunshine Pictures Pvt Ltd and Anr vs Union of India a lawsuit brought by the film’s creators opposing the West Bengal government’s decision to prevent movie screenings there as well as Tamil Nadu’s de facto ban. A gang of Keralan ladies who join ISIS is the subject of the Hindi film The Kerala Story. The movie received criticism from a variety of sources even before it was released. Both the government-in-power CPI(M) and the opposition Congress party in Kerala said that the film was propaganda for right-wing parties, pushing a false narrative and their agenda. To prevent any instances of hatred and violence, the West Bengal government issued an immediate ban on the controversial movie’s screening in the State.
The West Bengal government issued the order prohibiting the picture in accordance with Section 6(1) of the West Bengal Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1954, according to the argument made in the petition. The West Bengal order stated that to prevent any incidents of hatred, an order under Section 6(1) of the West Bengal Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1954 was required to be passed prohibiting the public screening of the film in the State. Notably, numerous petitions opposing the film were sent to numerous courts across the nation. The Kerala High Court was already hearing a similar case, and the petitioner approached the Court at the last minute, according to the Madras High Court, which dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) attempting to prohibit the film.
Supreme Courts Order
The Supreme Court’s bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha, stated that West Bengal’s release of the film did not differ from that of the rest of the nation. If it has been published elsewhere and is now in use in regions with populations that are similar to those in West Bengal. And whether this is good or poor from a cinematic perspective is irrelevant. The Supreme Court ruled that it didn’t contain any statements that were hostile to Islam or Muslims in general but rather focused on the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The State of Tamil Nadu, which the film’s creators claim has enacted a de facto ban, was also asked by the court for comment. The court further remarked that it would not issue any orders until hearing from all parties and asked West Bengal and Tamil Nadu for their responses. It was claimed that this amounted to a de facto ban. On May 17, the matter will now be heard.