CHENNAI: Wondering why a panel to regulate film publicity material has not been constituted even after 30 years of enactment of an Act, a division bench of the Madras High Court has directed the State government and the Regional Censor Board to come out with a suitable reply.
The TN Compulsory Certification of Film Publicity Materials Act has been enacted mandating formation of such a body as early as in 1987. Till date, no such body has been formed, a Bench of Justices S Nagamuthu and Anita Sumanth said.
The issue pertains to a habeas corpus petition filed by one Sundararajan to produce his minor daughter, who was missing for several days. He, however, came to know later that the girl eloped with a local youth Vimalraj, who had involvement in several criminal cases.
When the judges enquired with the minor, it came to light that she was four months pregnant and that she eloped with Vimalraj on her own volition, after seeing and being influenced by Tamil films.
Shocked over this statement and pointing out how poorly censored films are adversely affecting youth, the bench on March 20 had summoned the heads of the censor board.
Accordingly, MM Mathiazhagan, Regional Officer of Central Board of Film Certification, appeared in the court on March 30 last. Recording his appearance, the judges adjourned the plea to April 10 when the officer must be present again and explain on the formation of the board. Earlier, the Assistant Solicitor General submitted that the TN Compulsory Certification of Film Publicity Materials Act mandates approval of film publicity materials and prescribed three years of imprisonment for any violation.