It's just a film: Madras HC judges dismiss PIL against 'Mersal', schools petitioner

You come to us for this? Madras HC tells anti-Mersal petitioner not to waste its time
It's just a film: Madras HC judges dismiss PIL against 'Mersal', schools petitioner
It's just a film: Madras HC judges dismiss PIL against 'Mersal', schools petitioner
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"I appreciate your social focus. But can you target one film for that? If you really stand for social good, then go protest against untouchability, go protest against social evils.”

This is what Justice Sundaresh and Justice Sundar of the Madras High Court told petitioner Aswathaman before dismissing a Public Interest Litigation filed by him seeking to revoke censor certificate issued to Tamil movie Mersal.

The 2-hour-50 minute long movie starring actor Vijay, Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha, Vadivelu and Nithya Menen had offended the BJP for its dialogues on GST and Digital India.

Since the movie had got a certificate from the CBFC, BJP leaders had initially demanded that two scenes from the movie should be cut.

Petitioner Aswathaman, a lawyer, told the Madras High Court that the movie was making fun of Digital India. “They're saying there's no money in India and doing comedy on it,” he told the judges, referring to a scene in the movie where comedian Vadivelu shows his meaty wallet and says no one carries money as it is ‘Digital India.’

The judges in turn asked the petitioner, “Do you know how many people in India are malnourished? Opposition leaders have spoken against demonetisation. So, can we put a case on them for it?”

When the petitioner insisted that the dialogues were wrong the judges asked why he was making a big issue out of it.

“Some films have scenes where the hero steals from the rich and gives it to the poor. If you really care about social good, you could come to court about scenes where people are drinking and smoking. You could come to court for disabled people being depicted badly. Instead you're coming for this,” they said.

The petitioner then argued that the dialogues had nothing to do with the movie’s focus.

Reminding the petitioner that he was only giving publicity to the film, the court said that Mersal is only a film and not real life. Freedom of expression is for all.

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