Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has moved the Madras High Court stating that the Tamil Nadu Government order suspending the screening of The Da Vinci Code was "politically motivated." He also sought to implead himself as a party to the writ proceedings against the Government order.

Already, Sony Pictures Releasing of India Limited has challenged the State Government order and the matter is scheduled to come up for further hearing on Wednesday.

In his petition, Dr. Swamy said that once the Central Board of Film Certification had given the certificate, the State Government or the Commissioner of Police had no jurisdiction to prohibit the screening. The ban was in violation of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and the order was passed "to please certain groups of people, whom the politicians in Government at present think were potential voters."

Expressing concern at such "repeated violation of the right to freedom of speech and expression in recent times," he said this was happening despite repeated Supreme Court judgments. People in the State were being "threatened not to express an opinion and are being intimidated by the State as well as political parties."