The Supreme Court on May 12 issued notice to West Bengal on a petition filed by the makers of The Kerala Story challenging the decision of the Mamata Banerjee-led government to ban the film in the state.
A couple of days back, the makers also alleged that the movie was facing a 'shadow' ban in Tamil Nadu and sought protection for screening the film in the southern state.
Reportedly, the apex court has also issued a notice to Tamil Nadu government.
SC: The Kerala Story is released in the rest of the country, West Bengal is not different
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha posted the matter to next Wednesday.
The Supreme Court also said that the film has released in the rest of the country and West Bengal is not different.
"If the film can run in other parts of the country, why should the State of West Bengal ban the film? If the public does not think that the film is not worth seeing, they will not see it. It is running in other parts of the country which have similar demographic profile as West Bengal. Why should you not allow a film to run?" SC asked.
The bench also asked the Tamil Nadu government to specify measures taken to provide adequate security to theatres screening The Kerala Story.
"The state government cannot say that it will look the other way when theatres are attacked and chairs are being burnt," the bench told advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for Tamil Nadu government, after he submitted that there is no ban on the movie.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for producers of the movie, said there is de facto ban in Tamil Nadu as theatres screening the movie are being threatened and they have dropped the screenings.
"We are issuing notices to both the states and they may file their response by Wednesday. We will take up the matter on Thursday," the bench said.
Ban on The Kerala Story in West Bengal
The makers of The Kerala Story had approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government to ban the movie. They had also alleged that the movie is facing a 'shadow' ban in Tamil Nadu and seek protection for screening the film in the southern state.
The West Bengal Chief Minister had announced the decision to ban the screening of the Adah Sharma-starrer "to avoid any incident of hatred and violence, and to maintain peace in the state". The Government invoked the powers under Section 6(1) of the West Bengal Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1954 for this.
The Kerala Story Controversy
The Kerala Story depicts how women from Kerala were forcefully tricked through love jihad, impregnated, and trafficked to Iraq and Syria to join the ISIS.
The film has found itself at the centre of controversies ever since its trailer was released and several political leaders have accused the film of being aimed at spreading hate in the country.
The Kerala Story has left the country divided and has resulted into a massive political upheaval as several leaders complained the the film was made with the agenda to spread hate against the Muslim community.
The film also stars Siddhi Idnani, Sonia Balani, and Yogita Bihani in lead roles.