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IFFI 2017: I&B ministry appeals against Kerala HC order to screen S Durga

The information & broadcasting ministry's plea against the Kerala HC order said 'the concern of law and order are best left to be assessed by the executive and not superseded by judicial decisions.' 

Our Correspondent

The information & broadcasting ministry is the new 'censor' board in India. Post the unceremonious removal of S Durga from the Indian Panorama line-up at 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan had filed a petition in the Kerala High Court against the information & broadcasting ministry's decision.

The Kerala High Court's single bench ruling on Monday, by Justice Vinod Chandran, held up the filmmaker's claim and ordered the ministry to allow the screening of the film at the ongoing festival. 

The ministry, however, has now filed another appeal with a division bench. 

According to the latest reports in the daily, Indian Express, the ministry has stated, 'The single bench does not take into account the doctrine of separation of power and completely ignores the definitions carved out by the Constitution between justice delivery system, legislature and executive. The single bench ought to have appreciated that the concern of law and order are best left to be assessed by the executive and not superseded by judicial decisions.'

The ministry also stated that the filmmaker had not obtained mandatory exemption from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for the film in the required time span and that the inclusion of the film at this stage might upset the plans of the festival. 

In the interaction at the ongoing IFFI 2017, the cast of S Durga, Rajshri Deshpande and Kannan Nayar expressed uncertainty over the film's screening, despite the Kerala HC ruling.

Speaking to Cinestaan.com, Nayar said, "We haven’t heard anything from the officials as yet. They are simply not saying anything when he (Sanal) asked them about when our film would be screened. They are just not ready to communicate with us. We have the court order (in our favour) but they are not responding to it. They haven’t scheduled our film yet. We don’t know what do to?" 

This is contempt of court: Actor Kannan Nayar on IFFI not scheduling S Durga

The team also called the ministry's inaction as 'contempt of court'. 

The Kerala High Court bench is expected to arrive at a decision today. 

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