SC stays release of movie 'Hamare Baarah', criticises CBFC

SC stays release of movie 'Hamare Baarah', criticises CBFC

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the June 14 release of Annu Kapoor’s movie "Hamare Baarah" after taking note of allegations that the film is derogatory to the Islamic faith and married Muslim women.

Referring to certain "offensive dialogues" shown in the trailer, the top court expressed its anguish over the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) not removing them.

"We have seen the movie trailer in the morning and all the offensive dialogues continue in the trailer... we are convinced that the CBFC, which is the statutory body entrusted under the Act, has failed to do its job," said a vacation bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Sandeep Mehta during the brief hearing.

The bench took note of the submissions of lawyer Fauzia Shakil, who represented petitioner Azhar Basha Tamboli, and asked the Bombay High Court to decide the plea expeditiously.

The bench stayed the screening of the film till disposal of the petition by the Bombay High Court.

"Until disposal of the petition before the high court, screening of the movie in question shall remain suspended. We request the high court to dispose of the plea expeditiously," it said.

Shakil said the high court vacated the stay on the release of the movie by an "unreasoned order".

"The high court could not have directed the CBFC to constitute a committee because the CBFC was a party interested in the litigation," she said.

All objections, including the direction to the CBFC to select the committee, have been left open for the parties to raise before the high court, the top court said.

The film, which is already banned in Karnataka, was to be released on June 14.

According to Tamboli's petition, the aim of the film appeared to "incite violence to intentionally hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslim community by intentionally distorting the verses of the holy Quran and to demean married women in the society."

It alleged there was a "wanton vilification of Islamic faith."

The high court had permitted the release of the movie after the makers agreed to delete certain dialogues that were objected to.

It had allowed the movie to be released while directing the CBFC and the Centre to form a three-member committee to view it and give its comments.

After the committee sought an extension till June 12 to submit an "in-depth report", the high court on June 7 directed that the film be released.

Tamboli then moved the Supreme Court against its release.

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