New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to respond on a plea challenging the refusal to grant certificate to the film "En Dino Muzaffarnagar", on the grounds that the film has the potential of creating communal disharmony.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice to CBFC and FCAT and sough their response by Dec 5.
The plea filed by filmmaker Meera Chaudhary through advocate Prashant Bhushan alleged that the film was denied a certificate "arbitrarily" with the panel saying it could create communal disturbances.
The plea challenged the CBFC's June 30 order denying a certificate of unrestricted viewing of the film and the July 19 FCAT order upholding it.
The CBFC or the FCAT fail to provide a cogent reasoning for refusal to grant certification of the film, argued Bhushan.
"The order by the FCAT and CBFC suffers from malafide, non-application of mind and runs counter to the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under article 19(1)(a) of the constitution and the law laid down by the Supreme Court in plethora of cases," he said.
The government, however, defended the case on the grounds that CBFC and FCAT have provided sufficient reasons for refusal to grant certification to the film.
Chaudhary's plea said the main objective of the film is to make people aware of the politics behind the riots and to create the right perception, to create dialogue and debate on the issues to be highlighted in the documentary among journalists, activists and political classes.
"It will help in bringing peace and harmony between Hindu and Muslim community, because the film will clear the doubts and suspicions in the minds of both the communities regarding the real reasons behind the riots," it added.