SC Imposes Rs 20 Lakh Fine On WB Govt For Ban On ‘Bhobishyoter Bhoot’


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday imposed Rs 20 lakh fine on the West Bengal government for “virtual” banning of the satirical film “Bhobishyoter Bhoot” in the state.
A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said the fine amount should be given to producers and cinema hall owners as compensation for violation of their right to freedom of speech and expression.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Indibily Creative Pvt Ltd and others seeking a direction to the state government and its departments including the Home as also the Police Commissioner to refrain from causing any obstruction to the unhindered exhibition of the film.

On March 15, the top court directed the Mamata Banerjee government to ensure that no obstruction or restraint of any kind was imposed on the screening of the movie.

Besides, it 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 had also asked them to ensure that the viewers and the audience were not endangered and “there was no danger to the property of the theatres where the film was being or will be screened”.