Ban on Modi biopic: Watch the film and submit report, Supreme Court directs Election Commission

File photo of the Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 15, 2019, 12.29 PM (IST) Jessica Taneja

The Supreme Court of India asked the Election Commision on Monday to watch the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submit its report by Friday. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a plea challenging the commission's ban on the release of the biopic till the general elections are over.

The court agreed to examine a plea against the ban and directed the Election Commission to submit in sealed cover its decision posting the matter for consideration on April 22.

The film's producers had moved the top court after the Election Commission had banned the film from releasing before elections.

The poll panel had last week banned the screening of the biopic during the current poll period, saying any such film that subserves purpose of any political entity or individual should not be displayed in the electronic media.

The commission, in a separate order, had also directed the producers not to exhibit the film titled 'PM Narendra Modi' "till further orders".

Acting on the complaints of political parties, including the Congress, the poll panel had asserted that any biopic material with the potential to disturb the level playing field should not be displayed in the area where Model Code of Conduct was in force.

The EC order came after the apex court on Tuesday disposed of the petition filed by a Congress activist seeking stay on the release of the biopic, saying the poll panel was the right forum to decide the issue.

The commission's order came on April 10, a day before it was to be released, coinciding with the first phase of Lok Sabha elections. Votes for all 543 seats will be counted on May 23 after the end of the seven-phase polling on May 19.