SC declines to suspend ban on film 'DAM 999' in Tamil Nadu

Indo Asian News Service
24 January 2013

New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday declined the petition by Sohan Roy - the producer and director of film "DAM 999" - challenging a ban on the screening of the film in Tamil Nadu.

Even as the court was told that the constitutional rights of the petitioner producer-director could not be violated by the ban, the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Vikramajit Sen said that it needed to "see things from the point of law".

The court declined the plea by the producer-director and told his counsel Deepak that already one month has passed since the imposition of the three-month ban, and it was just a matter of another two months.

The Tamil Nadu government said the film centred on the Mullaperiyar Dam controversy. The Tamil Nadu government had justified the ban on the screening of the film on the ground that the film could increase tension between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over Mullaperiyar Dam controversy.

Unconvinced by the plea by counsel Deepak, Justice Sathasivam said: "We have to take over-all view of the law and order. We can't close our eyes to that."

Roy described Dec 19, 2012, order of the Tamil Nadu government banning the screening of the film for three months as "arbitrary, malafide, without jurisdiction, illegal, null and void being violative of the principles of natural justice and the provisions of Article 19 of the constitution".

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