SGPC’s 2 bids to stall Nanak Shah Fakir fail in SC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Apr 2018 09:09:00



The bench has listed the matter for hearing on Monday, while the film, based on the life and teachings of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, will be released as per schedule today

SHIROMANI Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Thursday made two unsuccessful attempts in the Supreme Court to stall the release of the movie ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’, hitting theatres across the nation on Friday. The SGPC made the plea for the second time on Thursday afternoon after its first one was rejected on Thursday morning.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused for the second time to consider the SGPC submission that its plea be either heard on Thursday or Friday as it would be rendered infructuous as the movie is slated for release on Friday. The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, had said in the forenoon that the SGPC plea would be heard on April 16.

“We are concerned with certification and the certification is there,” the bench said, when senior advocate P S Patwalia persisted with his submission that the plea be heard either on Thursday or Friday. The bench, however, turned down the plea.

Earlier on Thursday, the apex court had refused to accord an urgent hearing to the SGPC plea, seeking modification of its order allowing the release of the movie across India. The counsel for SGPC Satender Singh Gulati, had submitted in the court that nobody should be allowed to portray the life of Sikh gurus, their families and the ‘punj pyara’ on screen. The bench had also said that once a film has been approved for release by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), its screening can only be stalled through lawful means. The bench had then listed the matter for hearing on Monday.

The top court had on April 10 criticised SGPC, the apex religious body of the Sikhs, for imposing restrictions on the film ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ and had cleared the decks for its nationwide release scheduled on April 13.

The order had come on a petition by Harinder S Sikka, a retired Naval officer and the producer of the film, who had approached SC claiming the SGPC had recently banned the release of the film which is based on the life and teachings of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, even after the CBFC cleared it on March 28.