In a setback to the makers of The Kerala Story the Calcutta Court has refused to entertain PILs against the West Bengal government’s ban on the the propaganda film, accused of promoting hate against India’s Muslims.
“There is no urgency in this matter. No need for an urgent hearing. You all file the petition, we will hear it in due course. There are so many other urgent matters. This one doesn’t have urgency,” a Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya said.
When a lawyer argued that the matter needed to be heard urgently, ACJ Sivagnanam reminded the counsel by repeating that ‘we are only saying there is no urgency to grant a hearing tomorrow itself. Please file your petition copies, we will hear it.”
A similar application is currently pending before the Supreme Court against the ban on the propaganda film in West Bengal. The top court is scheduled to hear the matter on 12 May.
The film is produced by Vipul Shah, who hails from Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Shah and the film’s director, Sudipto Sen, have faced widespread condemnation for promoting Islamophobia with misinformation. The film had first claimed that 32,000 women from Kerala had converted to Islam before joining the ISIS. However, faced with humiliation, Shah now says the film is based on the stories of just three women. When challenged to explain his earlier claims on 32,000 women, Shah has said that he could not comment since the matter was sub-judice.
The film is reported to have earned more than Rs. 60 crore within six days of its release.
"No urgency": Calcutta High Court denies urgent hearing in PILs against West Bengal ban on The Kerala Story
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) May 10, 2023
The Kerala Story has also been withdrawn from theatres due to poor response from movie fans.
West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee government had ordered a ban on the film on Monday saying that certain scenes in of The Kerala Story were capable of disturbing peace and harmony in the state.