SC to view contentious film ‘Sada Haq’

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday said that it would watch the film “Sada Haq” that has allegedly taken an exalted view of the days of extremism and its leaders in Punjab before taking a call on the plea by its producers seeking lifting of the ban on its screening in Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi.

A bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Vikramajit Sen also said that senior counsel Fali Nariman, Rajiv Dhawan, and Additional Solicitor General Rebecca John too would be watch the film that would be screened in the apex court premises Friday afternoon.

The counsel for Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi too would be allowed to be present at the screening of the film.

The film depicts the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Punjab militancy and the police brutalities was to be released April 5 but was banned on April 4 by the Punjab and Delhi government and the Chandigarh administration.

Appearing for the Vital Media – the producer of the film, senior counsel Colin Gonsalves said that after the film has been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification, it could not be banned till it has been screened in cinema hall.

“It is only if something happens consequent to the screening of the film that that the government could intervene to clamp a ban on its screening,” he contended, adding that banning the screening of the film was the last resort after all efforts to maintain law and order had failed.

He said that the public screening of the film was a pre-condition before a ban could come.

Gonsalves said that the ban on the film “Sada Haq” was based on the likelihood of the screening of the film posing threat to the peace and tranquility.

Gonsalves recalled that the apex court bench with Justice Dave on it had Aug 19, 2011, had quashed the Utter Pradesh government’s order ‘suspending the screening’ of film maker Prakash Jha’s film “Aarakshan”.

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