SC allows release of 'Indu Sarkar' based on Emergency

July 28, 2017 05:20 AM

NEW DELHI: Holding that there was nothing wrong in dramatising historical facts on screen, the Supreme Court allowed on Thursday the release of Madhur Bhandarkar’s film “Indu Sarkar”, which purportedly depicts the Emergency period.

The apex court dismissed a petition filed by Priya Singh Paul, who claims to be the biological daughter of Sanjay Gandhi. She alleged that the movie showed the Gandhi family in bad light and its release should be stayed.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, after going through the trailer of the film, said a movie was not a documentary and filmmakers were allowed to present facts in a dramatised fashion in films. "Depiction of history has its own nuances and perception. Allow researchers and projectors to showcase their work. Do not go behind them... As far as exhibition of the movie is concerned, we are of the opinion that it is an artistic expression within the parameters of law and there is no warrant or justification to curtail the same," the bench said.

Sanjay daughter Pirya Pal Singh

Alleging that the film was based on "concocted" facts, Paul's advocate K Sultan Singh told the court that the director had admitted that only 30% of the film's content was based on facts.

He contended that the main characters of the film depicted the late Sanjay Gandhi and his mother Indira Gandhi and the film was made to malign their character.

"This is purely a commercial venture and it has nothing to do with education or documentation of that era," Singh said.

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Senior advocate Dhruv Mehta, appearing for Bhandarkar, said the characters in the film were purely fictional and it was cleared by the central board of film Certification (CBFC). "In any film, dramatisation of historical events cannot be curbed. CBFC has carefully considered the film and granted certificate... It is my fundamental right of expression and it cannot be curbed," he said. Paul approached the SC after her plea for a ban on the film was rejected by the Bombay high court.


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