Relief for Shobha De in Marathi film row

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the breach of privilege motion notice issued against author Shobhaa De by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker for her tweets on the state government’s decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi movies during prime time.

A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant also issued notice to the parties concerned and sought their response within eight weeks on the plea of De.

The socialite-columnist had moved the apex court against the notice issued by the Assembly Speaker following a complaint against her by a Shiv Sena law maker alleging that her series of tweets insulted Marathi language and Marathi speaking people.

Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for De, said, “Comments were made against the decision of the government and it does not breach any privilege of the Assembly.”

He also said that the apex court in its various decisions has described the privileges of the Assembly and the writer has not breached any.

Earlier this month, Legislature Principal Secretary Anant Kalse had issued a notice to De asking her to explain her tweets about the decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi movies during prime time.

The notice was issued after Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik moved a breach of privilege motion in the state assembly against De.

The columnist had tweeted, “Devendra ‘Diktatwala’ Fadnavis is at it again!!! From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!”

De had tweeted that it was nothing but hooliganism. “I love Marathi movies. Let me decide when and where to watch them, Devendra Fadnavis. This is nothing but Dadagiri.”

Reacting to the tweet, Sarnaik had moved a breach of privilege motion against De for allegedly “insulting CM Devendra Fadnavis and sentiments of Marathi speaking people.”

Reacting to the breach of privilege motion, De tweeted, “Now a privilege motion demanding an apology from me? Come on! I am a proud Maharashtrian and love Marathi films. Always have. Always will!”

Irked, Sena workers had also protested outside De’s house in South Mumbai against her remarks.


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