SC imposes Rs 20 lakh fine on Bengal govt for stopping film

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the West Bengal government for shadow banning Bangla film “Bhobishyoter Bhoot” based on political satire.

It also directed the state government to pay damages to theatre owners who were restrained from screening director Anik Dutta’s “Bhobishyoter Bhoot” (Ghost of the Future) from almost all multiplexes and single screen theatres earlier in the year.

The money will be given to the producer and theatre owners by the state, a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said.

The apex court also noted that the order clearly was in the violation of the fundamental right of free speech and expression.

Justice Chandrachud observed that this kind of action on the film was a serious matter wherein intolerance was used by the state against artistic freedom.

The court insisted that the right to free speech can’t be silenced because of fear of mobs.