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Stay on National Film Awards vacated

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has vacated the stay on announcement of the 53rd National Film Awards. Justice B.D. Ahmed directed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to announce the awards.

The Court had in May this year restrained the Ministry from announcing the awards, slated for May 12, without considering the representations by Jury member and petitioner Shyamli Banerjee Deb, alleging favouritism in the selection of films for the awards in certain categories.

Petition dismissed

The Court dismissed the petition, saying the petitioner had no case when the other members of the Jury had no objection to the selection of the films for the awards.

In her representations through her two dissent letters sent to the Directorate of Film Festivals on August 13 and September 4 last year, Ms. Banerjee had questioned the whole selection procedure, alleging that films that were dropped in the preliminary round were arbitrarily chosen for the awards.

She said the entire deliberation process was a farce, as it demanded mobilisation of other members of the Jury to gather majority votes for a particular film for its selection.

The process left no scope for a Jury member if she or he decided to vouch for a particular film, as his effort would be defeated in the absence of majority votes, the petitioner said. Alleged nexus between Directorate officials, producers and distributors, was apparent, the petitioner stated.

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