Mamata govt. guilty of abuse of public power, rules SC

  1. The Supreme Court has imposed a Rs. 20-lakh fine on the West Bengal government for not allowing the screening of Bhobishyoter Bhoot, a social and political satirical film. The Court has held that the state government had clearly abused public power. The judgment came on a petition filed by the film’s producers.
  2. The SC has also restrained the West Bengal government from using “extra-constitutional” means to stop the screening of the film. It further added that the state government should ensure that the properties of the theatre owners are duly protected and viewers’ safety is assured.
  3. The Court has observed that the petitioners have suffered a violation of their fundamental right to free speech and expression and of their right to pursue a lawful business.
  4. Article 19 (1) (a) guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression to all citizens. Article 19 (1) (g) provides all the citizens the freedom to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business subject to certain restrictions.