SC against films showing smoking scenes

You are not supplying the viewers with something essential by showing cigarettes and liquor
Last Updated : 04 September 2012, 18:32 IST
Last Updated : 04 September 2012, 18:32 IST

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday favoured making films sans scenes of actors puffing cigarettes or drinking liquor.

A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi said that if film-makers avoided making such scenes in their movies, they would easily get a censor board certification.

“Why don’t you make films without cigarettes and liquor? You make a film without them and you will get a certificate easily. You are not supplying the viewers with something essential by showing cigarettes and liquor,” the court said.

“We could understand if you are showing food or water in your films. We don’t have any problem with that but these (cigarettes and liquor) are not a must,” the Bench told noted film maker Mahesh Bhatt’s counsel after he complained about the hardships being faced in getting a certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for an unedited release of his Hindi movie “Raaz-3”.

Senior advocate V Shekhar, appearing for the Union government, told the court that a comprehensive notification prohibiting such scenes in both print and electronic media was ready and would be issued on September 14.

The new notification would make it mandatory to run anti-tobacco messages at the beginning and middle of the film or the television programme, besides a warning message being delivered by the lead actor on scroll at the bottom of the screen during the period of such display.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by the Central government, challenging a Delhi High Court order setting aside a ban on depiction of smoking on screen after calling it a violation of fundamental rights and artistic freedom. The apex court posted the matter for further hearing for September 20.

Order on Italian marines

The Supreme Court has reserved its order on the petitions filed by Italy and its two marines to quash the ongoing trial of against them for the offence of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast six months ago.

A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and J Chelameswar on Tuesday wrapped up the hearing after the counsel, representing the Italian government, the Centre and Kerala finished with their submissions.

The court, however, allowed Kerala government to file its written submission by Monday.

Published 04 September 2012, 18:32 IST

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