Lawyer Mamta Rani, the petitioner, approaches Supreme Court for revocation of the censor certificate granted by the CBFC to ‘Adipurush’

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On 27 June 2023, a public interest litigation petition has been filed by Mamta Rani before the Supreme Court of India seeking revocation of the censor certificate granted by the Central Board of Film Certificate (CBFC) to Om Raut’s ‘Adipurush’ movie (based on the Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’). The petitioner prayed for revocation of the movie on the ground that it is violative of the statutory provisions in Section 5B of the Cinematograph Act, 1952. The petitioner also mentioned that it allegedly hurts the sentiments of Hindus as well as the devotees of various deities by ‘destroying their fundamental values and characters’. Also, the movie, Adipurush, modified the ‘basic structure’ of Valmiki Ramayana as certain dialogues in the movie use derogatory language as of ‘gully boys’. The petitioner further stated that “The sacred fundamental texts and manuscripts are the basic spiritual and physical tenets of a cultured and civilized society which a common man of such a society relies on and lives by. A man becomes an orphan like a fallen leaf from the branch of a tree without his culture and traditions,”

In the petition, serious objections were taken by the petitioner regarding the movie claiming that various misleading statements have been made. Moreover, the depiction of communication styles and physical features of Hindu gods are distorting the fundamental values for which they are worshiped. The petitioner also alleged that the depiction of Sita is ‘inappropriate and vulgar’. The petition alleged that “The inspiration was taken from Valmiki Ramayana which was believed to have happened in Treta Yug in which the Rakshasas and Devas lived together on Earth and fought each other but still maintained the decorum of war and rivalry. Using derogatory words can never be an inspiration to anyone and such a distortion of such a great personality and deity like Lord Hanuman is blasphemy and this must be stopped.” The petitioner lamented that “The whole story of the film has destroyed and modified every aspect of the core values of the characters, their language and each authentic event,”

Apart from this, the petitioner also opined that even after the certification and release of the movie there is continuous change or modification, which is completely illegal and violative of Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952. The petitioner added, “Violation of this section is punishable by three years of imprisonment. No action has been taken by the Central Board of Film Certification for this violation till date.” In this context, the petitioner concluded in its petition that “The Indian Constitution gives us the fundamental right to freely profess and practice our religion and belief with full devotion. But the feature film ‘Adipurush’ has created a dent on the values, principles, and personality of our sacred deities and Gods by distorting every aspect of their fundamental values and principles and hence this feature film ‘Adipurush’ has hurt our sentiments.” The petitions, similar to this, are pending in the Allahabad High CourtRajasthan High Court, and Delhi High Court whereas the Delhi HC refused to entertain the plea and slammed the makers of the movie for portraying religious characters such as Rama and Hanuman in an objectionable manner. On Tuesday (June 27), Advocates Akash Awana, Ratnesh Kumar Shukla, and Shailendra Mani Tripathi represented the petitioner’s PIL.