New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought responses of the Censor Board and its appellate tribunal on a plea for public screening of a documentary on Muzaffarnagar riots.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued a notice to Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) as well as Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) and sought their replies by December 9 on the petition of Meera Chaudhary, wife of late Shubhradeep Chakravorty who made the documentary - 'En Dino Muzaffarnagar'.
Chakravorty died in August this year after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
The court, while issuing the notices, said the only issue here is with respect to Article 19(1)(a), which pertains to freedom of speech and expression, "a right which our forefathers fought for" and said "it can't be trifled with so easily".
The court made the observation as no detailed reason was given by CBFC while denying certification to the documentary.
"It (CBFC) could have given detailed reasons on which part of the movie violated which guideline. There is not one word on this..," the court said.
"It can't be that entire two hours and twenty minutes of the movie is violating the guidelines or is objectionable," the court added.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the two bodies, said they were only following the film certification guidelines.
On the other hand, advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for the petitioner, argued neither the Censor Board nor the Tribunal said in their order which portions of the movie were objectionable or violative of guidelines.
He also contended there is nothing in the film which could incite communal passions.
The petition has sought quashing of the August 19 order of FCAT which had refused to interfere with CBFC's June 30 decision not to grant certification to the documentary.