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FILM HAMARE BAARAH and Art.19



  Jun 18, 2024

FILM HAMARE BAARAH and Art.19



BACKGROUND

“Hamare Baarah,” a film directed by Kamal Chandra, has sparked significant controversy due to its portrayal of the Islamic faith and married Muslim women in India. The Supreme Court has intervened to stay the film’s release following allegations of derogatory content.

OBJECTIONS

• Content Concerns: Petitioners argue that the film contains anti-Muslim tropes and misquotes a verse from the Quran, presenting a derogatory image of the Islamic faith and married Muslim women.

• Public Reaction: Several Muslim organizations have expressed strong objections, claiming the film’s content is provocative and insulting, potentially inciting communal tensions.

LEGAL BASIS

• Constitutional Violations: The petition against the film cites violations of Articles 19(2) and 25 of the Indian Constitution. Article 19(2) allows for reasonable restrictions on the freedom of speech in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, and morality. Article 25 guarantees the freedom to profess, practice, and propagate one’s religion.

• Censor Board Involvement: The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had initially granted certification to the film after following due procedures and making necessary deletions. However, the petitioners argue that the snippets of the film circulating on various platforms are not certified trailers and still contain objectionable content.

COURT DECISION

• Supreme Court Ruling: The Supreme Court stayed the film’s release after viewing the teaser, which it found offensive enough to warrant concern over the entire film’s content. The Court observed that the teaser included all the objectionable scenes that were claimed to have been removed.

• High Court’s Role: The Bombay High Court had previously directed the CBFC to form a review committee to watch the film and provide feedback. However, the panel sought more time, and the High Court initially permitted the film’s release. The Supreme Court has now asked the High Court to decide on the merits of the case, including the constitution of the CBFC’s review committee.

NEXT STEPS

• Review and Ruling: The Bombay High Court is expected to review the case in detail, considering both the objections raised by the petitioners and the defense presented by the filmmakers. The Supreme Court has granted the petitioner the liberty to raise objections regarding the review committee’s composition.

• Potential Outcomes: Depending on the High Court’s findings, the film’s release could be further delayed, and additional modifications might be required to meet legal and ethical standards.

IMPLICATIONS

• Freedom of Expression vs. Religious Sensitivity: This case highlights the ongoing tension between creative freedom and respect for religious sentiments in India. The judiciary’s role in balancing these interests is crucial in maintaining public order and upholding constitutional values.

• Censor Board’s Responsibility: The controversy underscores the importance of the CBFC’s role in ensuring that films released to the public do not incite communal disharmony or offend religious beliefs.

CONCLUSION

The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the release of “Hamare Baarah” reflects the need for careful scrutiny of content that may impact communal harmony and religious sentiments. The outcome of the Bombay High Court’s review will set a precedent for future cases involving similar conflicts between creative expression and religious sensitivities.



SRIRAM’s



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