A PIL demanding stay on the release of film An Insignificant Man based on AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been filed in the Gujarat High Court. The PIL was filed on Thursday. The Gujarat Assembly elections are in December and the model code of conduct (MCC) is in effect right now. Advocate Bhavik Samani filed the PIL seeking the Gujarat High Court’s direction to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to restrain release of the film on the ground that the MCC is in effect in Gujarat in view of the assembly polls. He said that the film is scheduled to be released on November 17.
Samani has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) saying An Insignificant Man violates the MCC. According to sources, AAP is likely to contest on 25 seats in Gujarat polls scheduled for December 9 and 14. The trailer of the 100-minute documentary, which has real-life characters essaying the roles, has been out on the social media. The lawyer has also requested the ECI to see that the film should not be viral on the internet too as it is an important medium of campaign and it can influence the voters to a great extent.
Samani has dubbed the film as AAP’s election propaganda material, and said it would not be shown under the party’s election expenditure but as the producer’s expenditure. “The film includes real-life footages right from the rallies of Kejriwal and his team during the Jan Lokpal stir to poll campaigns at Delhi and other places,” said Somani.
The advocate also argued that in the modern age of digitization, the spread of a film or its teaser could be an indirect advertisement of a particular party and also denial of opportunity of level playing field for other parties for free and fair elections.