Setback to Vivek Oberoi on Narendra Modi biopic, Supreme Court refuses to quash ban imposed by EC


The Supreme Court on Friday refused to reverse the Election Commission’s order to ban the release of Vivek Oberoi-starrer biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi until after the Lok Sabha polls.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi refused to vacate the stay on its release by the EC. The makers of the film had approached the top court alleging that the EC had banned its release even without watching the film.

According to Livelaw website, the Election Commission in its response to the Supreme Court had said that ‘hagiography,’ which treated the subject with undue reverence, and its public screening during poll campaign will ’tilt the electoral balance.’

The 20-page report submitted before the CJI by the EC also said that the biopic starring Vivek Oberoi also ‘produces a political environment where an individual acquired cult status’ and its public screening during elections will favour a particular political party.

Today’s Supreme Court effectively means that the controversial film, deemed as a propaganda exercise to help the BJP, will not be released until the Lok Sabha polls are concluded on 19 May.

The EC had banned the release of the Vivek Oberoi-starrer biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 10 April saying that it should only be released after the elections.

In the film, Oberoi plays the character of Modi, while his father Suresh Oberoi is one of the three producers. Both Vivek Oberoi and his father are known BJP supporters and have campaigned for the saffron party in the past. Speaking on a channel recently, Vivek Oberoi had praised Modi and mocked Congress president Rahul Gandhi.