Kerala High Court States Publicity Litigation, reserves Orders in Petition against movie ‘Churuli’

kerela high court law insider

Ambika bhardwaj

Published On: January 31, 2022 at 17:10 IST

The Kerala High Court in the Case of Peggy Fen v. Central Board of Film Certification & Ors. reserved Orders in a Plea lodged against the Malayalam film ‘Churuli’ alleging extreme usage of abusive and inappropriate language.

While hearing the Case, Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan observed that Prima Facie he was of the viewpoint that the movie infringed no statutory provision and that it was just another ‘Publicity Litigation’.

Additional Advocate General Grashious Kuriakos, who represented the Respondents, asserted that the film had been certified by the Censor Board and that all warnings had been released concerning its content which also included that it was an 18+ film.

The Court observed that because it was broadcasted on an OTT platform, there is no issue of captive audience in the Case.

The observation was made in a Petition lodged by Lawyer Peggy Fen through Advocates C.A. Anoop and Krishna R., Accusing that the movie directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery used inappropriate language excessively in a deliberate attempt to get attention towards it. Today, there was no representation for the Petitioner.

It was argued in the Petition that the Censor Board breached the guidelines and regulations by approving the film’s release and further stated that such a release even attracts Indian Penal Code provisions.

On November 19, 2021, the movie Churuli was released on Sony LIV, a public OTT platform. The storyline is based on a short plotline from Vinoy Thomas’ book Kaligaminarile Kuttavalikal, which was directed and co-produced by Lijo Jose Pellissery and written by S Hareesh.

The Court had Suo Motu impleaded the State Police Chief to lodge a statement if there was any Statutory Infringement in exhibiting the movie. The police found nothing wrong against the film in their fourteen page statement.

The Judge also stated that under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, a Filmmaker has some rights in terms of artistic freedom.

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