Kolkata: Two public interest litigations (PILs) have been filed at the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday challenging the West Bengal government’s ban on the screening of ‘The Kerala Story’ in the state.
Both the PILs have been filed before the division bench of Chief Justice T. S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya.
The development comes at a time when the movie’s director Sudipto Sen has already approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the state government.
The first PIL at the Calcutta High Court has been filed by one Anindya Sundar Das, who has claimed that the state government cannot ban the screening of the movie just by issuing a notification. He argued that this ban on screening is against the basic freedom of speech and hence should be withdrawn.
The second PIL at the Calcutta High Court has been filed by another individual Debdatta Majhi, who has also appealed to the same division bench for cancelling the notification of the state government. He also challenged the manner in which the ban on screening of the movie was imposed.
The division bench has admitted both the petitions.
On Monday, while announcing the ban, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that certain scenes in the film can affect peace and harmony in the state.
“So, we have decided to ban its screening everywhere in the state. The decision has been taken to maintain peace and harmony,” the Chief Minister told media persons.
While announcing the ban, she also took a dig at the Left government in Kerala for not taking a similar step. “I do not support CPI(M). I want to speak about people. CPI(M) has a clandestine understanding with the BJP. Instead of just criticising the film, the Kerala government should have taken a similar step,” Banerjee said.