On June 19, the Bombay High Court paved way for the controversial film ‘Hamare Baarah’ to be released in theatre on June 21, albeit after ensuring that the film makers delete certain objectionable portions. The movie, which was earlier set to release on June 7, and then on later June 14, has been in the news over allegations of it portraying the Muslim community as violent, distorting the teachings of the Quran and showing visuals of violence against women. The slur-filled trailer had been widely shown without cuts, attracting the fine imposed of Rs 5 lakhs.

The aforementioned order was passed by the court in a writ petition that had been moved to the Bombay High Court by Azhar Basha Tamboli. The petitioner had argued that the film is in complete contravention of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, and the rules and guidelines associated with it. The petitioner had further claimed that the film is wrongly certified and its release would violate Article 19(2) and Article 25 of the Constitution. Article 19(2) imposes reasonable restrictions on free speech. Based on these grounds, the petitioner had sought a ban on the film on the ground that it is stigmatising of Islam and Muslims. Additionally, the petitioner had also strongly argued that the film deliberately showcased distorted Quranic verses to propagate a mistaken narrative that not just blames Muslims for population growth but portrays Islam as propagating the same.

While hearing the arguments on the merits of the case, the High Court bench observed on June 18 that the movie does not target the Muslim community but rather spreads the message that one should apply mind while following the interpretations of Quran. The report of LiveLaw stated that “The movie is in fact for the upliftment of women. The movie has a Maulana misinterpreting the Quran and in fact one Muslim man objects to the same in the scene. So, this shows that people should apply their mind and not blindly follow such Maulanas.

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