Followers of a religion cannot insist that others should not “portray” or “paint” tenets of its texts as such portrayal is protected by the Constitution, the Supreme Court observed Monday.
The remarks came from Justice D Y Chandrachud who was part of a three-judge bench which heard a plea to stop release of the film Nanak Shah Fakir, based on the life of Guru Nanak. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and also comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar said that its April 10 order, allowing release of the movie, will remain operational.
The judge sought to know whether it’s enforceable if a book says its ideas cannot be portrayed, “No…Portrayal is a temporal matter protected by the Constitution. Similarly if somebody paints…no…that’s protected by the Constitution,” Justice Chandrachud said, adding, “these are matters which lie beyond the religion”.
On April 10, the court, while clearing the decks for release of the movie, had pulled up Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for imposing restrictions. Appearing for SGPC Monday, senior advocate P S Patwalia referred to the 2003 notification of SGPC which, he said, forbid living representations of the 10 Sikh gurus and their family members. The next hearing is on May 8.