August 22, 2019 | 4:00 PM IST

Modi biopic row: Top court to hear urgent plea on April 8

The Apex Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea seeking stay on The public screening of Prime Minister Narendra Modi biopic starring Vivek Oberoi. The bench headed by Justice SA Bobde listed the case for urgent hearing on April 8.

Congress spokesperson Aman Panwar has filed a petition in the top court seeking stay on the release of the film quoting it as violation of Model Code of Conduct for the Lok Sabha 2019 polls.

On being quizzed by the bench as to why the petitioner directly approached the top court and not the high court, Senior advocate AM Singhvi said, “Delhi and Bombai High courts have already dismissed petitions filed by other persons. The release of the movie may influence free and fair election as prescribed in the Constitution. It is a "sheer propaganda piece for “pushing political ambitions" and would affect the level playing field during the general elections, 2019.”

He further argued that all the four producers of the movie were actual card-carrying official members of BJP and not mere supporters. Out of them two persons on earlier occasions had held officials in the party. And the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification Prasoon Joshi is a co-actor in the film and would not go against the release.

On insistence by senior advocate, the bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee, agreed to list the petition. The movie was originally to be released on April 5, which has now been deferred by a few days.

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