A division bench of Justice N Nagaresh and Justice Sophy Thomas of Kerala High Court after watching the teaser and trailer of the movie ‘The Kerala Story’ refused to stay on the movie and said that it does not contain any allegations against Islam but it contains about (ISIS) Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“What is against Islam? There is no allegation against the religion. The allegation is against ISIS”.
The court noted that “Going through the trailers of the movie, we find that trailers do not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole. The fact remains that the petitioners have not watched the movie. We find that a competent statutory body, Central Board of Film Certification, has examined the movie and found that the film is suitable for public exhibition. As provided by the guildlines for certification of films for public examination, the Censor Board has examined the movie in the context of whether the medium of film remains responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society”.
The bench further said that there are umpteen numbers of movie where Hindu sanyasis are depicted as smugglers or rapists at that moment no one protests against the movie.
“There are umpteen number of movies where Hindu sanyasis are depicted as smugglers or rapists. Nothing happens, no one protests. Many such Hindi and Malayalam films are there”.
The advocate appearing for the petitioner submitted that the theme of the said movie is that the Kerala is a center of all ISIS activity. In answer that the court replied “We need not go into veracity. This is fiction! Merely because some religious head is shown in bad light is not a reason to ban the movie. This has been happening in Hindi and Malayalam movies for a long time”.
The advocate appearing for the producer submitted that “We have put a disclaimer and we have said this is a work of fiction, inspired by true stories. Supreme Court says once there is a disclaimer and film is certified (it can be released)”. He further added that “Trailer is an excerpt of the film.. if the film is certified as a whole, it (trailer) is does not need separate certification. Teaser, yes. It is not part of the film, it is only for social media. Reliefs sought are for the film”.
The bench while refusing to stay the release of the film directed that “It is after examining the movie in the context of the guildlines prescribed, the Censor Board has certified the film. Furthermore, from the statement filed by the Deputy Solicitor General of India, we find that the producers have published a disclaimer along with the movie, which specifically states that the film has been fictionalised and is a dramatised version of events. The film does not claim accuracy or factuality of historic events. In view of the disclaimer also, we are not inclined to pass an interim order restraining the respondents from exhibiting the film”.