Kapil Sharma targeted for violating anti-tobacco law

Kapil Sharma targeted for violating anti-tobacco law

An actor was depicted smoking pipe without statutory warning

Kapil Sharma targeted for violating anti-tobacco law
Activists have written to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry against a popular television show by comedy actor Kapil Sharma for violating the anti-tobacco law. ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’, produced by K9 Productions and Frames Productions, has been accused of not following the anti-smoking provisions of tobacco-free film and television rules under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 or COTPA .

The show is aired on Sony TV every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm. In its episode on September 25, a character, played by actor Kiku Sharda, was depicted holding and smoking a pipe without any statutory health warning as prescribed by the rules.

The omission of the anti-tobacco health warning as a statutory message during the period of display of the tobacco products in the television programme and the mandatory anti-tobacco health spots and audio-visual disclaimer during the show are clear violations of Rule 8(1) of the COTPA rules.

“India boasts of being the third largest television market in the world. Small-screen actors are celebrities who have attained national fame and are idolised by viewers. This programme is very popular, so it is the duty of the makers to be careful before telecasting any of the episodes and ensure that the tobacco-free film rules under COTPA are not violated,” non-governmental outfit HRIDAY, which conducts anti-tobacco campaigns, said in its complaint.

On several occasions, public health campaigners had complained to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on how the film and television industry violates the anti-tobacco law, claiming that the provisions of the law go against creative freedom. An expert panel, headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, also reviewed the issue.
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