The Bombay high court on Wednesday refused to grant any ad-interim relief to film-maker Anurag Kashyap, who had challenged the rules under the Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Act, which make it compulsory for film-makers to crop or mask any scenes depicting advertisement of tobacco or its products.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha, however, has allowed Kashyap to make a representation before the Central government seeking modifications in the rules. On making such a representation, the Union government has been told to take a decision on it expeditiously.
The Union government, which was called upon to reply to the petition, opposed it relying on an apex court judgment under the Act which makes it mandatory for film-makers to put a disclaimer on any form of advertising being made about smoking or its products.
Kashyap is the director of the film 'Ugly' and he applied for certification to the film board in September 19, 2013, along with a letter stating that he did not wish to have the anti-smoking message displayed during the course of the movie as he considered it to be a violation of his creative expression and fundamental rights.
By a letter dated September 20, 2013, the board wrote back to him saying no certificate will be issued unless the rules enshrined in the Act are complied with. Kashyap in his petition has claimed that the imposition of the rules is in violation of his fundamental rights under Article 19 (Right to speech and expression) and Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution of India.