Supreme Court stays West Bengal government order to ban screening of film ‘The Kerala Story’ in the State

The Supreme Court has put a stay on the West Bengal government’s order to ban the screening of the film 'The Kerala Story' in the state. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Justice DY Chandrachud said it is the duty of the state government to maintain law and order as the film has been granted certification by the Central Board of Film Certification. The bench said, the prohibition order by the West Bengal government is not tenable.

The apex court said, fundamental right to free speech can’t be made dependent on public display of emotions. The court said legal provision cannot be used to put a premium on public intolerance. It said additional security can be provided for every cinema hall screening the movie and requisite arrangements can be made for moviegoers who want to see the film.

 With regard to Tamil Nadu, the top court said, no steps shall be taken by the state or its officers or instrumentalities including police to prevent the screening of The Kerala Story. While West Bengal had banned the movie after three days of its screening in theatres, Tamil Nadu has not banned the film but the exhibitors have withdrawn from cinema halls owing to security concerns.

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