Kolkata: The director and producers of Bengali film Bhobishyoter Bhoot on Friday hailed the Supreme Court’s direction to the West Bengal government to ensure that no obstruction or restraint of any kind is imposed on the screening of the political satire film in the state.
Calling it a “victory of democracy”, director Anik Dutta told reporters that the support of common people, many eminent personalities from the film industry, artists and others have made this possible.
“Yes the SC has given a direction to bring the film back to screens. We hail the order of the apex court. The SC has ensured the fundamental right of a filmmaker to show his film to the audiences is safeguarded, ” Dutta said.
One of the producers said that after the SC order reaches the production house office in Kolkata, the city theatres, where the screening had been stopped from February 16, would be given photocopies of the order soon.
An apex court bench comprising justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta issued a notice to the West Bengal government and others seeking their response before March 25 on a plea by the film producer which alleged that the movie has been taken down from a majority of theatres at the behest of the state authorities.
“We specifically direct the Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary, Department of Home, Government of West Bengal to ensure that no obstruction or restraint of any kind whatsoever is imposed on the viewing of the film or on the film being screened in theatres,” the bench said.
The top court also directed the chief secretary, principal secretary, Department of Home and the Director General of Police of West Bengal to ensure that adequate arrangements for security are made to facilitate the screening of the film.
It also asked them to ensure that the viewers and the audience are not endangered and “there is no danger to the property of the theatres where the film is being or will be screened”.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Indibily Creative Private Limited and others seeking a direction to the West Bengal government and its departments including the Department of Home and the Police Commissioner to refrain from causing any obstruction to the unhindered exhibition of the film.
The petition said that that the film has been taken down from a majority of theatres, and out of 48 exhibitors, only two are presently displaying the film. The film was released on February 15. The film was allegedly withdrawn from single-screen theatres and multiplexes a day after its release on February 16.
The story of the film revolves around a group of ghosts, including a politician, who assemble at a refugee camp and try to be relevant in contemporary times. The film has Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Moon Moon Sen, Kaushik Sen and, veterans Barun Chanda and Paran Bandyopadhyay in leading roles.