The makers of the Kareena Kapoor starrer Heroine moved the Delhi High Court yesterday against the I & B Ministry's order to display anti-smoking messages during the smoking scenes in the movie. Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who heard the plea, issued notices not just to the I &B and Health Ministries, but also to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) seeking their responses by September 10. Not just that, the CBFC was also directed to view the movie and file a report in a sealed cover on the next date of hearing.
UTV Software Communication (Heroine
's producer) approached the court seeking a board certificate for their film without any conditions pertaining to smoking. Besides this, they also sought the setting aside of the August 2's letter issued to them by the I&B ministry, wherein an additional condition was imposed that the films which have smoking scenes should start with a 20-second warning on smoking perils. The said petition had the Ministry requesting the CBFC to advise the filmmakers to ensure a 20-second anti-smoking message (as approved by the Health Ministry) having a voiceover of the actor who is seen smoking in the film to be displayed at the beginning and in the middle of the film. The same had to be played after the interval. If that wasn't enough, there was one more condition for the filmmakers which stated that a static anti-smoking message should be displayed for the duration of the smoking scene in the film.
While UTV's counsel Parag Tripathi and Atul Nanda agreed to the 20-second message at the beginning and in the interval of the movie, they objected to the proposed static anti-smoking message during a scene, reasoning that it would kill the creativity of the scene.