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Delhi HC refuses to withhold the release of movie ‘The Conversion’, saying “Provocation depends upon the mental attitude of a person”

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (ILNS): “Provocation depends upon the mental attitude of a person”- observed Delhi High Court, while refusing to entertain a plea seeking directions to withhold the release of the movie ‘The Conversion’, which is alleged to depict the dilemma of religious conversions that happens during the love marriages in India.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, however, asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Technology and YouTube to decide the representation moved by the petitioner association in respect of withholding the release of the movie and removal of the trailer till the movie is reviewed/scrutinized and censored by the appropriate authorities.
Upon a query raised by the Bench whether the petitioner has watched the entire movie or just one or two scenes of the movie. Advocate Adil Sharfuddin, representing the petitioner association, responded that the allegations are based on a two-minutes trailer of the movie, which has provoked a certain group of people.

“Provoking depends upon the mental attitude of a person. Some persons will never be provoked. You might be provoked. But others are very cool and calm,” the Bench orally remarked.
While disposing of the plea, the Bench noted, “This petition has been filed on the basis of the trailer, which must have been watched by the petitioner……We hereby direct the concerned respondent authorities to decide the representation preferred by the petitioner dated August 31, 2021, in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policies applicable to the facts of the case, as expeditiously as possible and practicable, keeping in mind the allegation of the petitioner that the movie- “The Conversion” is going to be released on October 8, 2021 on YouTube and other platforms.”
  Filed through Advocates Adil Sharfuddin & Ubaid UI Hasan by All India Practising Lawyers Council, the plea alleges the movie is likely to spread communal hatred. According to the plea, an official trailer of the alleged movie was released on August 12, 2021 on the YouTube channel on Nostrum Entertainment Hub.“ The trailer indicates that the movie has the potential of communal polarization amidst of upcoming UP election,” states the plea since the background of the movie has been set out in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh.

The plea highlights that a representation was made to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Technology, as also to YouTube, on August 31, 2021 requesting to withhold the release of the movie and to remove its trailer from the online platform.The plea, thereby prayed for directions to ensure that all possible steps are taken to prevent the atmosphere of polarization and communalization in the country.The plea thus reads: “The Trailer of the movie suggests that the content of the movie is concocted, communally biased, far away from truth and portraying the one section of the society or particular community, as and cruel, and propagating the idea of Love Jihad. The said idea and word are misnomer and discriminate and divide the one part of society on the basis of religion.”/ILNS/KR/SNG/

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