Nepal High Court issues interim order against Kathmandu Mayor’s decision to ban Indian movies

Kathmandu [Nepal], June 22 (ANI): The Patan High Court in Nepal’s Bagmati province on Thursday issued an interim order in a writ petition challenging the ban on the screening of Indian films by Kathmandu Metropolis.

During the hearing over the writ petition filed by the Film Association of Nepal against the decision to ban all Hindi movies in the wake of the “Adipurush” dialogue controversy, the High Court gave interim order against the decision of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Mayor Balendra Shah.
“Interim order has been issued. The court has directed not to block Hindi films and continue the screening,” Jayalal Bhandari, a lawyer from the Film Association of Nepal told ANI over the phone.

A bench of Justice Dhirbahadur Chand gave the interim order. The defendants and the petitioner have also been called to the court next week as part of the proceedings.

The Film Association, an umbrella organization of movie theatre owners had filed a writ petition at Patan High Court on Wednesday. KMC Mayor Balendra Shah, KMC Police and ministries of Home Communications and Information and Technology have been made the defendant in the case.

Reacting to the court’s decision, Kathmandu’s Mayor said in a Facebook post that he will “not obey” any law or court “when it comes to independence and sovereignty of the country”.

Balendra Shah announced the ban on June 18 over dialogue from the movie.

“If the film is allowed to be shown in other areas within the country and abroad, it will establish a misleading fact, so it is prohibited to show any Indian film in the Kathmandu metropolitan city until the objectionable parts are removed from the said film,” he said on Facebook.

Soon after the announcement of the ban, T-Series, the production company of ‘Adipurush’ wrote a letter saying it was “never intentional or deliberate to cause any disharmony for anyone.”

“We request you to view the film in its artistic form and support the intention of reaching out to a larger audience to create interest in our history,” said the letter signed by Radhika Das from the Super Cassette Industries Private Ltd, also known as T-Series.