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Modi biopic: Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Election's Commission report on stay on release

Vivek Oberoi in a new poster of 'PM Narendra Modi'. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 26, 2019, 11.08 AM (IST)

Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the Election Commission's report opposing the release of ‘PM Narendra Modi’ before the general election polls that end on May 19. 

In its report, EC told the Supreme Court that the biopic is a “hagiography", which treats the subject with undue reverence, and its public screening during the poll campaign will "tilt the electoral balance".

They submitted a 20-page report to the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. 

The report added that it "produces a political environment where an individual acquired cult status" and its public screening during the period when the model code of conduct is in operation would favour a particular political party. 

The EC said "there are several scenes depicting a major opposition party as corrupt and showing them in poor light. Their leaders have been depicted in such a manner that their identification is clear and obvious to the viewers."

It said that the biopic was more than a biography and was a "hagiography" (which treats the subject as saints and gives undue reverence) and the construct of the movie was "unabashedly uni-dimensional", which puts an individual on a higher pedestal through use of specific symbols, slogans and scenes.

The report was submitted after the apex court had on April 15 directed the EC to re-examine its earlier order and take an informed decision on banning pan-India the release of the biopic after watching the full movie. 

The court had asked the poll panel to provide its report to the producer of the movie.

"The committee is of the considered view that the public screening of the movie 'PM Narendra Modi' during the period of model code of conduct will tilt the electoral balance of the particular political party, therefore, the public screening of the movie 'PM Narendra Modi' should not be allowed till the last date of poll on May 19 in the ongoing elections.” 

The report further said, "Eulogising of the character Narendra Modi is very clear right through the movie. More than a biography, it is a hagiography. The construct of this 135-minute movie is unabashedly uni-dimensional, which puts an individual on a higher pedestal through the use of specific symbols, slogans and scenes. It ends up eulogising an individual, giving him a saintly status".

The biopic stars Vivek Oberoi as the sitting PM. 

Earlier, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition filed by Congress leader Aman Panwar for a stay on the release of the biopic, saying the Election Commission would be an "appropriate" place to seek the redressal.