New Delhi: Amid the controversy, Supreme Court has put a stay on the ban imposed on ‘The Kerala Story’ in West Bengal. This means that the ban has been lifted till any further order by the apex court. Acknowledging the problems with the film and the claims made, the bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud has decided to watch the film before giving a final verdict.
The court also noted that there is no direct or indirect ban on the film in Tamil Nadu and directed to provide security in every cinema hall.
Supreme Court takes on record the assurance of Tamil Nadu that there is no direct or indirect ban on the film ‘The Kerala Story’. Supreme Court directs adequate security should be provided in every cinema hall & requisite arrangements shall be made to ensure the safety of… https://t.co/udcR1yNOjm
— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2023
The Court order said that prima facie the bench is of the view that the ban is not tenable. For Tamil Nadu, the court directed to arrange for the security of the moviegoers and also said that no steps shall be taken to prevent the screening of the film.
Meanwhile, the bench comprising of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala directed the makers to add a disclaimer before May 20 saying that there is no data to back the ‘32,000 women’ claim and that the film is a fictionalised version of events.
The makers have faced a backlash for the unverified claim of 32,000 women being converted to Islam and sent to ISIS from Kerala. They had to take back the claim from the teaser, but the number is very much there in the film. ‘The Kerala Story’ created a lot of discourse where the Hindu outfits and BJP are supporting the film while there is a section calling it Islamophobic for vilifying a religious community with baseless claims.
The film was endorsed by several Union Ministers and PM Narendra Modi also supported the film during the election campaign in Karnataka. While the West Bengal government imposed a ban on the film, the film was made tax-free in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Directed by Sudipto Sen, the film stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, and Siddhi Idnani.