The Election Commission on Wednesday stopped the release of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi biopic until the Lok Sabha elections are over, saying that any material which "has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections should not be displayed," reports say.
According to reports, the Commission stated that it was crucial that "the power of media is not used in such a manner which affects the general conduct" of the elections. The Commission added that complaints on the issue will further be taken up by a panel headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had rejected a plea that sought to defer the release of the Modi biopic, starring Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who had argued that the film's releasing at this time would impact the national elections, that “so much of court time is wasted on non-issues such as these."
While the CJI refused to intervene on the matter saying it was premature as the CBFC is yet to certify it, he added that it was up to the Election Commission to take a call on the matter.
Earlier in March, the EC had said that the biopic may have violated the Model Code of Conduct. EC had issued suo motu notices to the production house as well as music company of PM Narendra Modi on March 20 as well.
Several political parties have also been calling for the film release to be stayed, including the CPI(M), CPI and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. Forty-seven civil servants also urged the polling body to delay the biopic’s release till May 23.
The film was initially supposed to release on April 5, but was later pushed to April 11.