CHENNAI: The Kollywood Industry, even a month after being issued a notice on violating the law on tobacco depiction in films, has not bothered to respond. The health department now plans to send another notice asking them for an explanation.
The notice was issued by Tamil Nadu State Health Department to movies including Velai Illa Pattadhari (VIP), Jigarthanda and Sarabham for violating the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA).
The violations reported on VIP were movie promotional posters and hoardings depicting lead actor Dhanush smoking, (GSR 786) and 20 seconds where the anti-tobacco audio visual disclaimer is missing (GSR 708). The other films too include violations like missing disclaimers and smoking scenes in trailer.
The notice was issued by the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. “We sent a notice about a month back. With no response from them, we are planning to send another notice asking for an explanation in a week or 10 days’ time,” a senior health official told Express.
Violations of Section 5 of COTPA ( Prohibition of Brand Promotion of All Tobacco products) could be punished with imprisonment of two years or fine of Rs 1,000 or both. Subsequent violation would attract five years imprisonment with fine of Rs 5,000 or both.
The notice was sent following a complaint filed by the National Forum for Tobacco Eradication, when these movies were released. “But the action-taken report was conveyed to us in April 20,” said S Cyril Alexander, National Convener of the forum.
Confirming the legal notice, officials from the Directorate of Public Health said, “We have sought an explanation from them and also warned them of action. But there is no response from them till date,” added the officials.
The department also sent legal notice to producers of movies including Anjaan and Vishayam Veliyae Theriya Koodathu.