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Kerala HC refuses to stay single judge order to screen ‘S Durga’ at IFFI

A jury shall view the certified version of the film and take a decision on its screening at the film festival, says Bench.

November 24, 2017 05:18 pm | Updated 05:54 pm IST - Kochi

 A still from ‘S Durga.’

A still from ‘S Durga.’

A Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala on Friday refused to stay the single judge order to screen movie S Durga at the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.

The Bench, which heard the appeal filed by the Centre against the single judge order, said a jury shall view the certified version of the film directed by Sanalkumar Sasidharan and take a decision on its screening at the film festival.

Incidentally, the festival, which began on November 20, will conclude on November 28.

As counsel for the Central government argued for staying the single judge order, the court pointed out that his objection was basically regarding the name of the movie.

Replying to the oral observation of the court, counsel said his opposition was to the name and use of some objectionable words used in the movie.

Counsel argued that the jury of the Panorama Selection had viewed only the uncertified version of the movie.

'Delaying tactic'

Counsel for the filmmaker contended that the Centre was adopting a delaying tactic so as to stop its screening in the Goa festival. He also challenged the arguments of the Centre that the inclusion of the movie in the festival would upset the screening schedule. The lawyer pointed that there were several vacant slots in the schedule of the film festival.

The petitioner had contended that the movie, screened by the jury for the Panorama Section, had excluded it from the list at the instance of the Central government and argued that the act was illegal and arbitrary. The Division Bench later admitted the appeal filed by the Union government.

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