The judge, who viewed the spy-thriller on Saturday, said the order has been passed considering the prima facie case established by Kamal Haasan, who had questioned the two-week ban which was imposed after Muslim outfits were up in arms against its release claiming it portrayed their community in a bad light
Chennai: Decks are cleared for the release of actor-director Kamal Haasan’s controversial Tamil movie ‘Vishwaroopam’ with the Madras High Court lifting the ban imposed by the Tamil Nadu government after protests by Muslim outfits, reports PTI.
Justice K Venkataraman granted the interim stay of the operation of the order made under Section 144 of the CrPC by district collectors across the state that had prevented the release of the movie made with a nearly Rs100 crore budget.
“Considering the totality of circumstances, I am of the view that the order made under Section 144 of CrPC is liable to be kept in abeyance for the present,” said the judge in his interim order after a day-long hearing.
However, Advocate General A Navaneetha Krishnan told reporters outside the court that the court’s order was not final and would be challenged.
The judge, who viewed the spy-thriller on Saturday, said the order has been passed considering the prima facie case established by Kamal Haasan, who had questioned the two-week ban which was imposed after Muslim outfits were up in arms against its release claiming it portrayed their community in a bad light.
The court said it was surprising to note that all the district magistrates/district collectors of 31 districts, had taken a common decision and passed an order under Section 144 of CrPC “which appears to be strange.”
“...In my considered view, no independent reason have been given by district collectors and solely relied on the statement made by Muslim organisations,” the judge said.
Haasan was not available for comment soon after the court gave him the much needed relief with estimates that he could have incurred a loss of Rs30-Rs80 crore due to the non-release of the film in the state.
The judge made it clear that the matter will be decided on merit and in accordance with the law and “...Any expression made hereunder (today’s order) shall not be viewed as a final decision...”
Observing that the orders under Section 144 CrPC were passed in view of the representation given by several Muslim organisations, he said their remedy was to approach authority under Cinematograph Act, 1952 to seek redress.
“... No doubt, for making a law and order problem, the authority competent is entitled to make an order under Section 144 of CrPC but, that does not mean that section of society can curtail the fundamental rights of a citizen, but it has to protect the person whose fundamental rights are threatened to be violated,” the court said.
During the hearing, Tamil Nadu government questioned the ‘UA’ certificate issued to the film and alleged that the certification of films itself was a “very big scam” and sought a probe into it by a law enforcing agency.
The Advocate General said the ‘UA’ certificate to ‘Vishwaroopam’ was not issued by the Censor Board, but only by an Examining Committee not mandated by provisions of the Constitution.
Rejecting the charge, Additional Solicitor General Wilson said the certification was done by a procedure and after the cuts were accepted.
The court had on 24th January declined to grant any interim stay on the ban. The actor missed two deadlines for the film.
The movie first ran into rough weather after some theatre owners resisted the tech-savvy actor’s decision to premiere the movie, made in Hindi and Telugu as well, on the DTH (Direct-to-Home) platform ahead of its screening in theatres on 11th January.
Haasan had held a special screening of the film for the Muslim outfit leaders, but failed to win their approval.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, US authorities were pushing for a settlement of allegations that would also result in an RBS division pleading guilty to criminal charges
The Wall Street Journal, citing people briefed on negotiations, added that US authorities were pushing for a settlement of allegations that would result also in an RBS division pleading guilty to criminal charges.
The newspaper said that the deal could be completed within the next fortnight and added that RBS was resisting any guilty plea amid fears it would lose clients and spark costly litigation.
A spokesman for the state-rescued bank would not be drawn on the article, simply saying: "Discussions with various authorities in relation to Libor setting are ongoing.
"We continue to co-operate fully with their investigations," he added in a statement.
Investors meanwhile took flight at Tuesday's development.
RBS shares sank 5.98% to finish at 345.80 pence on
The Edinburgh-based lender is 82% owned by the British government after a vast bailout during the global financial crisis.
The Libor affair erupted in June 2012 when Barclays bank was fined 290 million pond by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.
IDBI Bank has reduced the benchmark prime lending rate and fixed deposit rates on select maturities by 0.25%
“The new base rate or minimum lending rate (at 10.25%) will be effective from 1st February,” the bank said in a release.
The base rate is the minimum lending rate below which banks cannot offer any loan to customers.
IDBI Bank was the first one to cut lending rates following the announcement of the RBI to reduce short-term lending rate by 0.25% and deciding to slash cash reserve bank (CRR) by same margin to inject Rs18,000 crore of liquidity into the system.
Mumbai-based IDBI Bank has reduced the benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) and fixed deposit rates on select maturities by 0.25%.
“IDBI Bank has taken this proactive step keeping in view the policy measures announced by the RBI in its third quarter review of monetary policy today,” it said.
The reduction in interest rate is expected to positively impact loan growth both in retail and corporate segments.
Various other banks, including the market leader State Bank of India (SBI), said that they would take a call on reducing interest rates in coming days.
National Housing Bank (NHB) had earlier announced cut in lending rates by 0.25% benefiting the home loan borrowers.
Meanwhile, foreign lender the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) also reduced its base rate by 0.75% to 9%.
The base rate is the benchmark to which all loan rates are linked, RBS said in a statement.
“Today's move by the RBI to cut repo and CRR by 25 basis points is in sync with our expectations. In line with the potential deflationary environment, RBS has decided to cut its base lending rate,” it said.