'Mersal' only a film, not reality: HC dismisses plea to revoke censor tag

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Dismissing a PIL seeking to revoke censor certificate for 'Mersal', Madras HC said 'Freedom of expression is for all'.

Madras High Court dismisses a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer seeking to revoke the censor certificate for 'Mersal'. (Photo: File)

Chennai: "Freedom of expression is for all, " the Madras High Court on Friday said while dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer seeking to revoke the censor certificate for 'Mersal'.

The censor certificate was issued to actor Vijay starrer 'Mersal' for its anti-Goods and Services Tax (GST) dialogues by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). 

The high court stated that 'Mersal' is only a film and not real life.

The petitioner had argued that the censor certificate should be revoked as the movie was full of "wrong propaganda about India and fake dialogues and scenes which obviously lead to the misconception about the new taxation system of India and the Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 to the viewers."

"No picture shall be certified for public exhibition which will lower the moral standards of those who see it and the prevailing laws shall not be so ridiculed as to create sympathy for violation of such laws," he had argued.

The petitioner had also sought an interim stay on the screening of the movie which released on October 18. 

The court's decision comes after the producers on last Saturday decided to remove the scenes which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) objected to.

The BJP took objection to what it termed as "untruthful" regarding the GST in the film and wanted dialogues on the central taxation to be deleted. 

A scene in the movie shows a character delivering a fiery monologue in which he attacks the government's failure to provide free public healthcare despite charging a national GST of up to 28 per cent.

The scene sparked an uproar among members of the ruling BJP who wanted it to be deleted from the film.

With inputs from agencies.