New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to review the documentary film "En Dino Muzaffarnagar" again and pass its order.
Its maker Meera Chaudhary had filed a plea challenging the CBFC's refusal to grant it a certificate on the grounds that the film has the potential of creating communal disharmony.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the board to watch the documentary again and pass an order with reasons. The court remanded back the matter to CBFC, Kolkata, with a direction that the matter should be disposed of within four weeks.
The board shall also has to furnish reasons for whatever decision it takes - if it feels that the movie is worth certifiable by certain excisions, then the board should mention the part of the documentary with reasons, said the court.
If the board feels that the entire movie is objectionable then also it should substantiate it with reasons, said the court, adding that the members of the board would be different this time.
During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Chaudhary, told the court that the film was denied a certificate "arbitrarily" with the panel saying it could create communal disturbances.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain appearing for government told the court that the film is biased and allowing its screening may lead to riots.
Chaudhury's plea challenged the CBFC's June 30 order denying a certificate of unrestricted viewing of the film and the July 19 Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (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," said the plea.
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.