“Heroine” to be screened without “static” anti-smoking message
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has allowed the release of Bollywood movie ‘Heroine’ without display of “static” anti-smoking message in its smoking scenes.
The film is set to be released on September 21. Allowing film maker UTV Software Communication’s plea for permission to release the film without the anti-smoking message during smoking scenes, the court asked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to issue certificate without this condition.
“It is prima facie not appropriate for respondent nos. 1 and 2 (ministries of the I&B and the Health) to disturb the state of affairs in interregnum. This is specially so, as the measures put in place on November 29, 2011 appear to have worked well between December 2011 and March 2012,” Justice Shakdher said.
“The balance of convenience also appears to be in favour of writ petitioner UTV in view of the fact that it has invested a huge sum of money based on what was perhaps according to it, was the state of the legal regime, in which, it was required to operate,” he added.
The court accepted UTV counsel Atul Nanda’s argument that the shooting of the film had started after the ministries in
November last year had assured the film-maker fraternity that they would not impose the condition till a final decision was
The I&B ministry, however, had suddenly issued a letter on August 2 when the film was about to be released.
According to the production house, the I&B ministry has in its August 2 letter requested the CBFC to advise the filmmakers to ensure “a 20-second anti-smoking message as approved by Health Ministry with voice over of the actors who is seen smoking in the film to be displayed at the beginning and in middle (after interval) of the film.”
The ministry had issued a letter pursuant to its October 27, 2011 notification in terms of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply) rules.
Additionally another condition stipulated the display of “a static anti-smoking message for the duration of smoking
scene in the film.”