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New Delhi:

The Election Commission of India, on Thursday, banned the release of the biopic ‘PM Narendra Modi’, saying it should not be released till 19 May. The poll body said that delaying the release will be in the interest of free and fair Lok Sabha elections and is justified in its decision to release the film after the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on 19 May.

On last Monday, the Election Commission had submitted its report over the movie before the Supreme Court in a sealed cover, after which a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi posted the matter for hearing on 26 April and had directed that report be served to the petitioner, the producers of the movie. On 17 April, officials of the Election Commission had watched the movie in a special screening on the directions of the Supreme Court.

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After watching the film, the EC told the Supreme Court that PM Narendra Modi is not only a biopic, but also has dialogues, symbols, and presentation that “eulogises a public representative”.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking the release of the biopic PM Narendra Modi, that challenged the Election Commission’s decision of delaying the release of the film until 19 May, the last day of polling. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was not inclined to entertain the application filed by producers of biopic challenging the EC’s order. “What survives in this now ?” the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, said. “The issue is whether the movie can be exhibited at this time. The Election Commission has taken a decision. We are not inclined to entertain this,” the bench said.

The biopic was scheduled to release on April 11, the same day of the first phase of Lok Sabha election polling began. However, the controversial film was put on hold by the Election Commission. There is no confirmation yet on the new release date. The polls will get over on May 19 and the counting of votes on May 23.

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