The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday refused to stay the release of Bollywood movie ‘Madras Café’ in Tamil Nadu.
A Division Bench comprising Justices S. Rajeswaran and T. Mathivanan, which heard a public interest litigation, observed, “The court is not inclined to stay the release of the movie at this point of time.”
The Bench, however, admitted the case and issued a direction to the Director-General of Police, Tamil Nadu, the producer and the director of the film to file a detailed counter affidavit.
The petitioner, A. Stalin, an advocate, claimed in his petition that the movie had “objectionable contents” and that it showed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in poor light.
The Tamil citizens were portrayed as ‘terrorists and mercenaries’ and the film’s release might result in law and order problems in the State, claimed the petitioner’s counsel W. Peter Rameshkumar.
Denying the allegations, T.R. Rajagopalan, senior counsel, who appeared on behalf of the filmmakers, contended that ‘the film was purely fictional.’
He submitted that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) gave clearance to release the Hindi version of the film and that the application to release the dubbed version of the film in Tamil was pending before the CBFC. The film was scheduled for release on August 23.
The judges, in their order, said the filmmakers were at liberty to release the Tamil dubbed version of the film after it got its clearance from the CBFC. They posted the case to September 3 for further hearing.
Bharatiya Janata Party State president Pon Radhakrishnan, in a statement issued in Chennai, said the release of the movie might lead to unwanted consequences.
Hence, it should not be screened in any part of the country.