Freedom of expression

‘Freedom of expression is for all’, says Madras High Court as it dismisses plea against ‘Mersal’

The petition had sought the revocation of the censor certificate for the film because of its critique of the Goods and Services Tax.

“Freedom of expression is for all,” the Madras High Court said on Friday while dismissing a petition seeking the revocation of Tamil movie Mersal’s censor certificate. Justice MM Sundresh and Justice M Sundar said that Mersal is fiction and not real life, and those who do not like it need not watch it, The Hindu reported.

On Monday, advocate A Ashvathaman had filed a petition before the court seeking the revocation of certification on grounds that the movie portrayed India in a poor light and contained misleading information about its healthcare sector, Digital India and the Goods and Services Tax. Ashvathaman contended that the contents of the movie could encourage tax evasion.

Mersal, made by Atlee and starring Vijay in a triple role, has had a dream run at the box office but has met with opposition from some quarters. While the Bharatiya Janata Party had objected to a sequence that was critical of GST, doctors in Tamil Nadu have protested against the depiction of the medical profession.

However, many actors, politicians and other prominent personalities, including Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan, have rallied behind the film and its makers.

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Mersal (2017).
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