Delhi HC too refuses stay on 'Nanak Shah Fakir' release

Students stage a protest against movie Nanak Shah Fakir in Ludhiana

Students stage a protest against movie Nanak Shah Fakir in Ludhiana

While directing Sikh masses to boycott the movie, the Jathedar said the high priests had directed the Sikhs to stage peaceful protest against the film.

The order had come on a petition by Harinder S Sikka, a retired Naval officer and the producer of the film, who had approached the apex court claiming that the SGPC had recently banned the release of film which is based on the life and teachings of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev, even after the CBFC cleared it on March 28. Meanwhile, reacting on his excommunication, Sikka said, "I respect Akal Takht but this decision has been taken in an arbitrarily matter".

The Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983 says that under sec.11 that it specifically imposes a duty on the Board to assess public reaction to films, which can be by holding symposia or seminars of film critics, film writers, community leaders and persons engaged in the film industry and also by undertaking local or national survey to study the impact of the film on the mind of the viewers.

Both the top court and the high court rejected the respective pleas of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to accord urgent hearing.

However, the court agreed to hear a plea on Monday.

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A bench consisting of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwikar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told that the Censor Board does not need the permission for releasing a film from SGPC, a religious body, and no one can object the release of the movie without taking recourse to lawful means.

The apex court pointed out that the CBFC had already cleared the film for release. He, however, has stated in the plea that he would not release the film in Punjab.

Later talking to TOI, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the clerics had directed Sikhs across the globe to sever social and religious ties with Sikka, who was guilty of hurting the religious sentiments of the community.

The clergy has also decided that the members of SGPC's earlier sub-committee, which had endorsed the film in 2016, too would be summoned at the Akal Takht. However, the SGPC maintains that the film contains objectionable content regarding the Sikh guru and his family.

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