Ker HC | Release of controversial Malayalam film “Aquarium” stayed till further order apprehending it to be defamatory to Catholic Christians and nuns

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court: The Bench of P.V. Kunhikrishnan, J., stayed the release of Malyalam film “Aquarium “apprehending it to be defamatory to the Roman Catholic Christians. The Bench opined that, this is a matter to be heard in detail.

The petition was filed to seek  stay on the operation of the certificate granted as per the certificate No. DIL/3/1/2020-THI pending disposal of the writ petition. According to the senior counsel the script of a cinema which is to be telecasted in OTT platform based on the above certificate is highly defamatory to the Roman Catholic Christians. It was alleged that there are defamatory statements about nuns.

The Bench, while refusing to make any observation about the contents of the script, opined, “there is a pandemic situation. The entire State is under lock down. The apprehension of the petitioners is that if the cinema by name ‘Aquarium’ is released in the online platform, it will damage the sentiments of the petitioners and their community. This is a matter to be heard in detail. The jurisdiction of this Court is also to be decided in detail.

Hence, the Bench passed an interim order to stay all further proceedings with regard to certification granted to the said film for a period of two weeks.

[Josia S.D v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine Ker 2144, order dated 11-05-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Counsels for the Petitioner: George Poonthottam and John Varghese

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