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Delhi high court rejects plea against 31st October

A two-judge bench of the court refused to entertain the petition seeking to delete some scenes from the film as the petitioner had not approached the CBFC first.


The Delhi high court today declined to entertain a public-interest petition seeking to stop the release of 31st October, a film based on the aftermath of the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Indira Gandhi's assassination on 31 October 1984 was followed by widespread anti-Sikh riots in November.

A division bench comprising chief justice G Rohini and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal refused to entertain the petition as petitioner Ajay Katara had failed to first approach the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) with his grouse.

Following the court's rejection, Katara withdrew his petition. A separate petition against the film is being heard by a local court in Chandigarh.

The petition had claimed that 31st October, starring Soha Ali Khan and Vir Das, was an attack on India's secular fabric and against the ideology of the country's oldest political party, the Indian National Congress.

"From whatever little is shown in trailers, it is clear that the actions and words used by the characters are of offensive nature, having all the ingredients to tarnish the reputation of such persons. Apart from the fact that the same can't stand the test of fair comment or that of social interest, those appear to be provocative," the petition had said.

Katara's plea had also sought direction to delete some 'objectionable' scenes from the film, saying there were many scenes aimed against a prominent political figure. The petitioner did not name the politician but said the filmmaker had used a lookalike and shown the person in bad light to invoke contempt for and hatred against him.