Supreme Court imposes Rs 20 lakh fine on West Bengal government for shadow banning film

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 11, 2019, 12:27 PM(IST)

The official poster of 'Bhobishyoter Bhoot' Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said the fine amount of Rs 20 lakh shall be given to producers and cinema hall owners as compensation for violation of their right to freedom of speech and expression.

The Supreme Court has imposed a Rs 20 lakh fine on the West Bengal government for shadow banning Bengali film 'Bhobishyoter Bhoot' which has been directed by Anik Dutta.  The political satire was pulled down from theatres by the state government earlier this year. 

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said the fine amount of Rs 20 lakh shall be given to producers and cinema hall owners as compensation for violation of their right to freedom of speech and expression.

The court was hearing a plea by the film producer which alleged the movie was taken down from a majority of theatres at the behest of the state authorities.

On 15th March, the top court directed the Mamata Banerjee government to ensure that no obstruction or restraint of any kind was imposed on the screening of the movie.

A communication was received by one of the producers of the movie from the Special Branch of West Bengal Police that the contents of the film may hurt public sentiments, which may lead to political law and order issues.
The film was released on 15th February. Its story revolves around a group of ghosts, including a politician, who assemble at a refugee camp and try to be relevant in contemporary times.

The film was allegedly withdrawn from single-screen theatres and multiplexes a day after its release. It has now re-released and is playing at selective theatres across Bengal, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR. 

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