After Andhra Pradesh High Court, it is time for Madras High Court to lecture the Govt. on their “secular” decision to ban The Da Vinci Code
“It would be dangerous to allow the State to straightjacket the right to Freedom of Expression, as artistic expressions may be asphyxiated by law if a petulant group of self-appointed `censors’ prescribes the paradigms for suspending the screening of a film, which has got the approval of the Censor Board,” said Justice Prabha Sridevan.
Rejecting the submission that the State had material to show that there would be a “breach of peace” if the film was exhibited, the judge said, “the inability of the State to maintain law and order or to avert a violation of breach of peace can never be a ground to throttle the Fundamental Rights.”
She said the order did not satisfy the “compelling State interest test,” and added: “When highly respected members of the Christian community have seen the film and have not expressed any apprehension that it may result in breach of peace, and when the Censor Board has certified that the film is worthy of being exhibited, the compulsion that forced the State to pass the impugned order is inexplicable and does not justify the violation of the Fundamental Right of the petitioners.” [Madras High Court quashes ban on film via Reporter’s Diary]