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Supreme Court dismisses petition by Brahmin Samaj to stop Article 15 screenings


The court directed the Brahmin Samaj to 'approach the appropriate authority' for such a request. 

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Our Correspondent

The Supreme Court, on Monday, 8 June, refused to entertain the hearing of a petition by the Brahmin Samaj seeking to prevent the screening of Anubhav Sinha's recent film, Article 15 (2019).

The petition was filed requesting a ban on the screening of the film, citing the use of emblems, and caste hatred that could lead to violence. The court directed the petitioners to 'approach the appropriate authority' under the act, allowing them to withdraw the petition. 

The authority to question the film would be the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) which gave the film an 'A' certificate and cleared it for release. 

According to a report on the legal website, barandbench.com, the petitioners stated that the film was a misuse of the freedom of expression and violated section 3 of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950. 

The report quoted the petitioners as saying, "The release of the film is likely to cause severe damage about the public perception about Article 15 of the Constitution of India and its origin, and may lead a trend in the film industries by naming title of any feature film in the name of different Articles of the Constitution of India, which lead to a great difference between 'what is written in the Constitution and what is shown in the film', and the public perception may lead to public disorder, incitement to offense, among different castes against each other. (sic)" 

The petitioners have also accused Sinha's film of fomenting caste hatred. The quote from the petition reads, "Contents of the film Article 15 shows various objectionable dialogues spreading rumour and caste hatredness in the society based on a false/incorrect and concocted story depicting in the name and background of true criminal incidents, which remarkably violates and diminish the true spirit of Article 15 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.(sic)"

The petition was filed much before the release of the film, seeking an immediate hearing. However, the vacation bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai did not consider the matter of hearing urgent. 

Anubhav Sinha certainly enjoyed a sigh of relief as the petition was dismissed from the Supreme Court. The director shared a tweet underlining the judgement. 

Sinha has announced his next project, Thappad (2020), with Taapsee Pannu. This marks the director's reunion with his Mulk (2018) actress. The film is due to be released on 8 March 2020. 

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