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De’s tweets on exhibition of Marathi film; SC makes Maha party

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New Delhi: Maharashtra was today allowed by Supreme Court to be impleaded as a party to the plea of author Shobhaa De challenging the breach of privilege motion notice of state assembly against her for tweets on a decision to make exhibition of Marathi films mandatory in multiplexes.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant accepted the submission of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the state be made a party for enabling it to contest the plea and assist the court.

The court, on April 28, had stayed the breach of privilege motion notice issued against the socialite-columnist by the 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.

The notice was issued following a complaint against De by a Shiv Sena law-maker alleging that her series of tweets insulted Marathi language and Marathi-speaking people.

The counsel for De today told the court that respondents including the Legislature Principal Secretary have failed to appear and respond to the notices issued against them.

Earlier, De had said that the comments were made against the decision of the government and they did not breach any privilege of the Assembly.

Prior to this, the Legislature Principal Secretary Anant Kalse had issued the 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!”

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