KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed a petition by two documentary directors who were denied permission by the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) to screen films at the 10th International Documentary and Short Film Festival (IDSFF).
The I&B ministry had denied censor exemption to three documentary films at the festival organised by the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy (KSCA).
This included two of the petitioners’ films about the controversial Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) protests, the unrest in Kashmir, and another one on the Rohith Vemula issue.
The Court passed the verdict accepting the submission by the Centre’s counsel that an appeal filed by the KSCA on June 9 in this regard was pending before the ministry, therefore the petitioners had no right to approach the court at this stage.
The petitions were filed by Kathu Lukose, director of March March March and Shawn Sebastian, director of Shade of Fallen Chinar.
While the first one deals with student protests at JNU in Delhi, the second contains interviews with students of the University of Kashmir.
The third film, The Unbearable Being of Lightness, directed by PN Ramachandra is based on the student protests following Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.
The festival is being held from June 16 to 20. According to the petitioners, the action of the Centre was an affront on the freedom of expression.