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Madras high court dismisses plea seeking revocation of Mersal's certificate


The court said the filmmaker had a right to express his opinion on government initiatives and other topics.

Manigandan KR

The Madras high court on Friday dismissed a public interest petition that had sought a direction to the Central Board of Film Certification to withdraw the certificate granted to the Tamil film Mersal (2017).

Justice MM Sunderesh and Justice M Sundar dismissed the petition that was filed by a lawyer named Ashwaththaman.

The petitioner said the film was granted certification in a day and the film had sequences that wrongly portrayed the government's Digital India initiative and the state of medical care in the country.

The judges, while pointing out that the film had been cleared by the CBFC, popularly known as the censor board, which is the body authorized to clear films, said these were just dialogues in the film. Nobody would blindly believe these dialogues, the judges noted, and said the filmmaker had a right to express his opinion.

The court, therefore, dismissed the petition. The court's judgement comes as a shot in the arm for the Mersal team.

The film has been mired in controversy since its release, with the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) upset by the stand it took on the newly introduced goods and services tax (GST), among other things.

The film, directed by Atlee Kumar, stars Vijay, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Nithya Menon and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles.

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Censorship