RBN Web Desk: The Supreme Court of India has asked the West Bengal government to pay a fine of ₹20 lakh for imposing a ‘virtual ban’ on director Anik Dutta’s film Bhobishyoter Bhoot. The apex court, in two separate orders on 15 and 25 March, had asked the state to pull all stops in exhibiting the film.
Bhobishyoter Bhoot had released on 15 February but disappeared from all multiplexes and majority of the single screen theatres in West Bengal within a day. Hall owners cited instructions from a ‘higher authority’ in withdrawing the film.
The film later rereleased countrywide on 5 April via the apex court order.
Hearing a petition today moved by the film’s producers, justice DY Chandrachud and justice Hemant Gupta observed that the ‘virtual ban’ was a serious matter, wherein the state resorted to intolerance regarding artistic freedom. The court then imposed the fine on the state government. No film can be stopped from screening, once it has received the relevant clearance from the censor board, the court said.