On the 10th of April, the Election Commission of India (ECI) banned the release of PM Narendra Modi, the biopic about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s life, till the 2019 Lok Sabha elections end.
Hours before the ECI passed its judgement on the biopic, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC,) on the 9th of April, cleared PM Narendra Modi for release. The CBFC gave the movie a U rating and said, now that it was approved from its end, it was up to the producers to release the film as per schedule.
However, the ECI took the decision of banning the release of the movie until the end of the elections. While stating its ruling, the ECI said, any biopic which could have a strong influence on the voters should not be displayed in any form of electronic media.
With regard to this, the ECI said, “Any biopic material in nature of biography sub serving the purpose of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which has the potential to disturb level playing field during the election, should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematograph.”
The order by the ECI comes just a day before the seven phased Lok Sabha elections begin. The Supreme Court earlier heard the case after a petition was filed by Arun Panwar, a senior Indian National Congress (INC) leader.
According to the advocates representing Arun Panwar, the biopic about the PM’s life was propaganda and was the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) attempt at swaying as many votes in its favour as possible.
While the Supreme Court initially agreed to hear the case on the 8th of April, it later deferred the petition and said this was a case which needed to be heard by the ECI. The Court further said, since the film wasn’t reviewed by the Censor Board, entertaining the stay of the release of the biopic would be a premature move.
Initially scheduled to release on the 11th of April, the biopic can now be released only after the elections end.
As of now, there is no clarity as to when PM Narendra Modi will release.
Stay tuned for more updates.