KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has stayed for two weeks all further proceedings based on the certification given to the Malayalam film 'Aquarium' by the Central Board of Film Certification. While passing the interim order, the court observed, "Admittedly, it is a pandemic situation. The entire state is under lockdown. The apprehension of the petitioners is that if the film by the name 'Aquarium' is released on online platforms, it will damage the sentiments of the petitioners and their community. This is a matter to be heard in detail."
The court issued the order based on a petition filed by two Catholic nuns Sr Josia and Sr Mary KG, Ernakulam alleging that the theme offends the religious sentiments of Christians as a whole and nuns and priests in particular.
Senior advocate George Poonthottam, who is the counsel for the petitioners, submitted they are affected by the theme of the script of the original film named "Pithavum Puthranuk Parishudhathmavum' and renamed 'Aquarium" for which censor board certificate has been obtained by practising a fraud on authorities.
They alleged that the message sought to be conveyed through the script portrays nuns, as a class, as having some form of sexual perversion and illegitimate relations with priests. It offends the religious sentiments of the community, said the petitioners, adding that a complaint has been submitted to the Prime Minister. The film contains messages of communal divide and disharmony among the members of a different community, they said. The trailer of the movie is now available on various social media platforms. From the trailer, it was gathered that nuns have been characterized as lusty women and priests as deviant characters, they added.
The petitioners also alleged that the contents of the film indirectly affect the fundamental right of the Catholic Christian community and its believers exceeding the constitutional limits of freedom of expression and the same time, the right of worship as guaranteed under the Constitution of India.