The release of Maradu 357, the Malayalam film based on the demolition of flats in Maradu in 2020, was stayed by the Munsiff’s Court in Ernakulam, Kochi on Wednesday, reported Live Law.
The film was supposed to release on March 19.
The court passed an interim injunction order that the film should neither be released in full, half nor any trailer or song of the film in neither theatres nor any OTT platforms or social media until the completion of the trial in the criminal case filed against the builders in the demolition case.
Directed by Kannan Thamarakulam, Maradu 357, the number in the film’s title represents the number of flats that were demolished.
In 2006, the Maradu Grama Panchayat issued show-cause notices to the builders for cancellation of the building permits, citing several reasons, including Coastal Regulation Zone violation. The builders moved the High Court, which stayed the notice leading to the continuation of the usual construction works.
After several petitions from 2012 to 2019, filed by the panchayat and the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority, counter petitions by the builders and several hearings, the four apartment complexes were demolished through a controlled implosion on the orders of the Supreme Court on January 11 and 12, 2020.
The court also directed that each flat owner would get compensation of Rs 25 lakh as an interim amount, regardless of the amount shown in the sale deed and directed the builders to deposit Rs 61.50 crore with the Kerala government for disbursing compensation to residents.
Managing director of Jain Housing Ltd Sandeep Mehta, managing director of Holy Faith Builders and Developers Private Limited Sany Francis and co-promoter of the Golden Kayaloram apartment KV Jose complained that the film’s release might intervene in their right to a fair trial in the ongoing criminal case against them.
The complainants cited the example of the Supreme Court’s stay order on the release of the film Black Friday until the trial in the Bombay blast case was over and the example of the recent Kerala High Court order on the airing of the serial on Koodathayi murder cases which had similarities with a pending criminal case that could intervene in the administration of justice
According to them, the film’s trailer suggests that there was an illegal conspiracy between the builders and government officers to illegally obtain the building’s permit illegally. Such depiction of the issue, which is sub-judice, could affect the trial, they said..
The first-look poster was released in April 2020 by the director where he wrote that the film “speaks out a lot of naked truths”.
Produced by Abraham Mathew, under the banner of Abam Films, the film features Anoop Menon, Manoj K Jayan, Dharmajan Bolghatty, Sheelu Abraham, Sarayu, and Noorin Shereef.