New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain pleas seeking a stay on the release of the movie ‘The Kerala Story’ in theatres and OTT platforms and allows the petitioners to approach the Kerala High Court.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said a similar plea is pending before the Kerala High Court and asked them to move the High Court with their pleas. The high court is scheduled to hear the case against the film on May 5.
Advocate Vrinda Grover mentioned the petition before the bench seeking urgent listing tomorrow saying the film is getting released on May 5.
The petition mentioned by Grover sought a modification in the disclaimer of the film to state that it is wholly fictional.
Grover said, “The opening shot says the film is true. It has been advertised as a true story. That movie vilifies the entire community. There is no disclaimer. It’s a pan India release.”
Advocate Nizam Pasha, appearing for Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, also mentioned the plea for an urgent hearing, saying his petition is seeking different reliefs to stop the film’s release and not just a modification of its disclaimer.
The bench, however, asked them to approach the High Court where a similar petition is pending.
On Tuesday, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind approached the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the release of the movie in theatres and OTT platforms saying the movie was likely to cause hatred and enmity between different sections of society in India.
The plea said the film demeans the entire Muslim community and it will result in endangering the life and livelihood of the entire Muslim community.
Seeking direction to not allow the release of the movie, the plea also sought direction that its trailer be removed from the internet.
Alternatively, it sought direction that the movie ‘The Kerala Story’ be released with a disclaimer stating that it is a work of fiction and the characters in the movie bear no resemblance to any person living or dead.
“The message the movie imparts is that non-Muslim young women are being lured into converting to Islam by their classmates and subsequently, trafficked to West Asia where they are forced to join terrorist organisations. The movie gives the impression that apart from extremist clerics who radicalise people, ordinary Muslim youngsters, their classmates, also play an instrumental role in luring non-Muslims and radicalising them by posing as friendly and good-natured, in accordance with instructions given by extremist scholars,” the plea stated.
It added that the film promotes the view that “love jihad” is being used to lure non-Muslim women into converting to Islam and also joining ISIS”.
However, an investigation by the State police carried out in 2009 revealed that there was no evidence of “love jihad” in the State of Kerala, it further said.
The movie may adversely impact social relations between communities as well as individuals belonging to different communities by spreading enmity, hatred and suspicion, the plea stated.
Another plea was also filed on May 2 seeking a stay on the release of the film saying it allegedly promotes hate speech.
“The film claims to be “inspired by many true stories”. The story-line of the said film as seen from the trailer is how thousands of Hindu and Christian women are being lured and brainwashed by Muslim men pursuant to an international conspiracy, converted to Islam, turned into radicals and trafficked to become part of ISIS where they are kept against their will, abused and exploited,” the plea has stated.
The film depicts how thousands of young women were allegedly brainwashed into joining the Islamic State (IS) and heading off to countries like Syria and Afghanistan.
‘The Kerala Story’, starring Adah Sharma, is set to be released in cinemas on May 5.