Provocation depends upon mental attitude of people, remarked Chief Justice DN Patel refusing to restrain the release of film The Conversion. A petition had been filed challenging the release of the film on grounds of allegedly displaying communally charged content and having the potential of provoking hatred among religious communities.
Justice Jyoti Singh said someone may be provoked by anything, even without saying a single word. “Whereas some people may never be provoked, they are very cool and calm.” The court stated that notice cannot be issued on the basis of “one man’s provocation” and it thus directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to decide the representation made to it by the petitioner, as expeditiously as possible.
The bench noted that the petition had been made merely on the basis of the trailer, without reference to the entire context of the movie. The All India Practising Lawyers Council had filed the plea through advocates Adil Sharfuddin and Ubaid Ul Hasan. The Council argued that the movie’s trailer depicts biased and communal content and that it has potential of communal polarization amidst the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections.
“This petition has been filed on the basis of a trailer of the movie The Conversion. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that he had preferred a representation dated 31 August 2021 to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and this representation has not yet been decided by the concerned respondent authority,” the order stated. “We hereby direct the concerned authority to decide the representation in accordance with the law, rules, regulations, government policies applicable to the facts of the case and on the basis of the evidence on record, as expeditiously as possible and practicable, keeping in mind the allegation of the petitioner that the movie is going to be released on 8th October, on YouTube and other platforms.”
The plea stated that the trailer of the movie suggests that the content of the movie is concocted, communally biased, far away from the truth and portraying the one section of the society or particular community, as and cruel, and propagating the idea of “Love Jihad”. It further stated that the said idea and word are a misnomer and discriminate and divide the one part of society on the basis of religion.