Bombay High Court: In the recent judgement, the Division Bench comprising of S.S. Shinde and Mangesh S. Patil, JJ., while deciding a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India declined to ban the release of the film ‘Dashkriya’ which was scheduled to be released on 17-11-2017.

The submissions made by the plaintiff were that the movie is blasphemous and has hurt the religious sentiments of the Brahmin community especially the Kirwant community who perform the posthumous religious rights and rituals after the cremation and has been specifically called “Dharmabhrashth”. Further submissions include that the sentiments of the barber community were also hurt due to the slang languages used and the trailer of the film threatens the fabric of social cohesion under the guise of freedom of speech and expression.

The Court rejected that there is a violation of fundamental rights as guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution  as there is no order prohibiting the persons from exercising their right to freedom of religion. Relying upon the Supreme Court judgement in Nachiketa Walhekar v. Central Board of Film Certification [WP (Civil) No. 1119 of 2017, order dt. 16.11.2017]  the Court held that courts should be slow in interfering with matters where Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) has granted the permission to release a film and that, a person has freedom to express himself in a manner which is not prohibited in law and such prohibitions are not read by implication to curb the limits of an expressive mind. [Sameer Shankarrao Shukla v. The State of Maharashtra,  2017 SCC OnLine Bom 9089, decided on 17-11-2017]

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