A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking a ban on the trailer of the film The Accidental Prime Minister saying it has caused unaccountable damage to the name and fame of the office of Prime Minister. The film is based on the book of the same name by Sanjaya Baru, the former media advisor of former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Actors Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna play Manmohan Singh and Baru in the film which is slated to release on Friday. The PIL, filed by Pooja Mahajan, a Delhi-based fashion designer through her counsel Arun Maitri, said the film will harm the image of the Constitutional post such as Prime Minister and will give it a bad name nationally and internationally.
On Monday, a single judge bench on Monday disposed off the plea saying it should be refiled as a public suit. The plea said the trailer violated Section 416 of the Indian Penal Code as an impersonation of a living character or living persons is not permissible in law.
Advocate Maitri said the film's producers have not taken any consent from Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi to perform their characters or perform their political life or to dress up in the same way as they have been doing in their normal life or to copy their voice in any manner. As per the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) guidelines on films based on real-life characters, a 'no objection certificate' (NOC) is required. But for the trailer, no such NOC was obtained, the petitioner said.
In the plea, Mahajan has requested the court to issue a direction to the Centre, Google, YouTube, and CBFC to take steps to stop the exhibition and display of the trailer. Mahajan has also requested the court to quash the CBFC's certificate given to the film. The film has been mired in controversy ever since its trailer was released. Its trailer was also missing from YouTube and Anupam took to social media to question why the trailer was no longer easily visible on the video streaming website. However, he calls the film as a historical step in filmmaking as it uses real names for the characters.
The film is directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte and also stars Divya Seth Shah as Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur. The film is slated to release on January 11.
(With Inputs from IANS)