SC dismisses film chamber's petition against restricting market of dubbed movies, serials

SC dismisses film chamber's petition against restricting market of dubbed movies, serials

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) against Competition Commission of India's decision, imposing a penalty on the Karnataka Television Association (KTVA) and the Kannada Film Producers Association (KFPA) for restricting the market of dubbed films and serials in Kannada language.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan told advocate Balaji Srinivasan, representing the KFCC, that the association should not come in the way of telecasting dubbed serials and exhibition of such films.

A counsel appearing for the Kannada Grahakara Koota contended that the KFCC directly interdicted with the release of film 'Koffy Shop' and blocked telecast of other serials on television.

He also submitted the chamber sent letters to newspapers, contending that the tax exemption certificate against the movie has been withdrawn.

Srinivasan, for his part, submitted that Karnataka is a multilingual state as in Bengaluru - population drawn from all parts of India - resided and while in Hyderabad-Karnataka, North Karnataka and Dakshin Kannada regions, people speak Telugu, Marathi and Konkani and Tulu languages respectively. Because of this, there is no market for dubbed content, he contended.

However, the bench did not see any reason to interfere with the Competition Commission's April 10, 2017, decision.

The CCI had then held that the film chamber, as well as the KTVA ", acted in concert to counter dubbed content". It has also found that the film chamber has opposed telecast Aamir Khan's 'Satyameva Jayate'.

The commission had directed the film chamber, KTVA and KFPA to cease and desist from indulging in practices found to be anti-competitive and play an active role in creating awareness among their members of the provisions of the Competition Act.

A penalty of Rs 16,82,204 was also imposed on the film chamber and Rs 1,74,293 and Rs 1,68,124 on the KTVA and the KFPA respectively.