KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the State Government and the Kerala Chalachitra Academy on a petition filed by actor Salim Kumar, seeking to quash the declaration of the Kerala State Film Awards-2014.
Salim Kumar submitted that the jury members did not actively participate in the screening process and did not apply their mind while assessing the films.
Salim Kumar said that of the 155 entries, only 85 entries were screened and viewed by some of the jury members.
“It created a natural suspicion that the screening and judging process was only a farce, and that the results were fixed much earlier than the commencement of the screening process. If it is so, there occurred grave criminal conspiracy, fabrication of documents, and even forgery,” Salim Kumar argued.
“Lobbying, conspiracy, bias and such malpractice should be eradicated from the activities of the KSFDC, in order to promote the proposed aim of that society,” he argued.
When the issue of non-apprising by the jury members and jury chairman P Bharati Raja was thoroughly criticised, Raja had come out with a justification to the effect that ‘the judgment of the High Court and the Supreme Court might differ, and hence nobody should expect the same decision in the State-level awards and the National Awards’.
‘Follow Minimum Requirements’
“Of course, it can be a good justification with logic. But, in the matter of the process followed by the judging committee while assessing the quality of films the concerned persons have to follow at least the minimum requirements by taking part directly for the proper assessment of the films,” the petition stated.
As per the information gathered, the jury chairman had not attended the screening of the film ‘Moonnam Nal Njayarazhcha’, produced by Salim Kumar.
He, instead, went to his hotel room after the screening of the first film, ‘Progress Report’.
Moreover, there were no sufficient members present for the screening criteria on that day. The log sheets show that the number of film projected was in the rage of 2-7 films a day. Screening and evaluating of so many films is an impossible thing to happen in a single day,” Salim said.