Special Correspondent

Censor Board says clearance for film `not in public interest'

CHENNAI: The First Bench of the Madras High Court will witness a special screening of the film, `Kutrapathirikkai,' reportedly based on the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Though completed in 1993, the film could not be cleared for exhibition owing to litigation.

On Monday, hearing a writ appeal by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) against an order directing it to grant a censor's certificate to the film, the Bench comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice K. Chandru said the special screening should be held at 6.30 p.m. on November 23.

Books published

Wondering how the CBFC, which enjoys recommendatory powers under the statute, could file the present appeal, the judges pointed out that at least three books, including the one by the chief of Special Investigation Team (SIT) that investigated the assassination, had been written on the subject.

Two Kannada films too had been made based on the assassination.

The Bench asked senior counsel for the CBFC whether this meant that major incidents such as the terror attack on Parliament could not be filmed by anybody.

In its petition, the CBFC said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting decided to appeal against the order given the prevailing circumstances in Sri Lanka, where tensions were building up.

"The issuance of certificate to this film at this juncture would further aggravate the situation," it said, adding, "it will not be in public interest to certify the film for public view as it would affect the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states and public order as enshrined in Article 19(2) of the Constitution."