Petitioner questions the title of the film Andhra Pori, which is proposed to be exhibited on 05.06.2015. Petitioner states that after bifurcation of the State there are many people from Andhra area settled and residing in Telangana State and depiction of the name of the film as aforesaid is likely to be misutilized by way of degrading the values of girls in Andhra area and residents originating from Andhra area settled in Telangana area.The catchword here is 'reasonable restriction' which corresponds to the societal norms of decency. In the present matter, the documentary film Father, Son and Holy War depicts social vices that are eating into the very foundation of our Constitutional. Communal riots, caste and class issues and violence against women are issues that require every citizen's attention for a feasible solution. Only the citizens especially the youth of our Nation who are correctly informed can arrive at a correct solution. This documentary film in our considered opinion showcases a real picture of crime and violence against women and members of various religious groups perpetrated by politically motivated leaders for political, social and personal gains.

http://judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/qrydisp.aspx?filename=12730


THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE VILAS V. AFZULPURKAR        

WRIT PETITION No.15355 OF 2015  

04-06-2015

Andhra Association of TelanganaPETITIONER  


The Union of India, Rep. by its Central Board of Film Certification, Hyderabad
Chapter, Telangana State and others.... RESPONDENTS  

Counsel for Petitioner  : MR. P. LALITHA KAMESH  

Counsel for Respondents: MR. B. NARAYANA REDDY    
                          (ASST. SOLICITOR GENERAL)  
                          GP FOR WOMEN DEVELOPMENT        
                           AND CHILD WELFARE  
                           MR. M. SURENDER RAO  
<GIST   :

>HEAD NOTE:  

? Cases referred:

AIR 2012 AP 78


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE VILAS V. AFZULPURKAR        
WRIT PETITION No.15355 of 2015
The Court made the following:

ORDER:


       At the stage of admission, I have heard the learned counsel for
the petitioner appearing in the place of party-in-person, learned
Assistant Solicitor General appearing for first respondent, learned
Government Pleader for Women Development and Child Welfare
appearing for fourth respondent and Mr. M. Surender Rao,
learned senior counsel, appearing for the fifth respondent.
Respondents 2 and 3, the Department of Cinematography and the
Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce, are not involved in the
certification of the film in controversy and respondents 6 and 7,
being actress and distributor, are not necessary to be heard.

2.      Petitioner questions the title of the film Andhra Pori, which is
proposed to be exhibited on 05.06.2015. Petitioner states that after
bifurcation of the State there are many people from Andhra area
settled and residing in Telangana State and depiction of the name of
the film as aforesaid is likely to be misutilized by way of degrading the
values of girls in Andhra area and residents originating from Andhra
area settled in Telangana area.

3.      For the purpose of appreciating the exact objection of the
petitioner, it is appropriate to extract para 8 of the affidavit, as under,
which, inter alia, states that the word Pori suffixed to the title of the
film is objectionable. Petitioner, therefore, seeks that the exhibition of
the film with the aforesaid title be interfered with by this Court as it
amounts to showing disrespect to the girls of young/marriageable age
of Andhra region.
8. I submit that the very selection of the name Andhra Pori
is combination of Two States slang, the earlier prefix Andhra is
from Andhra slang is the name of the region of Andhra state
and the suffix Pori is Telangana used Slang which literally
means the Girl of a young age/marriageable age. This synomos
of Pori are Ammayi, Pilla, Yuvathi, Bidda form the respectable
pronunciation of calling a girl of youth age on the other hand
the words Guntadi, Kurradi, Pori are form the objectionable
pronunciation to de-grade the self respect of the girl of young
age promoting/raising the modesty of the girl of youth age
which is within the meaning of definition under section 2
subsection (a) of Indecent representation of women
(prohibition) Act, 1986 which reads as follows:
        Advertisement includes any notice, circular, liable,
wrapper, or other documents and also includes any visible
Representation made by means of any light, sound,  smoke or
gas.

4.      Learned counsel for the first respondent has contended that the
Central Board of Film Certification has appointed an examining
committee, which has certified the film for unrestricted universal public
exhibition.  The file of the first respondent is placed before this Court,
which shows that the Board required an examining committee to
examine the film and then suggest its opinion and the report of the
committee states that it had held detailed discussion on the film,
treatment and presentation of the film in the light of the guidelines
issued by the Government under Section 5B (2) of the Cinematograph
Act, 1952 (for short the Act) and suggested deletion of certain words
from the portion of the film and also suggested a visual to be shown in
a flash by referring to guidelines 2(viii), 2 (xii) and 2 (vii) respectively
and recommended to grant U certificate with cuts unanimously.
Accordingly, certificate was issued by CBFC on 28.05.2015, after being
satisfied with the modifications suggested by the Board have actually
been carried out.

5.      Mr. M. Surender Rao, learned senior counsel appearing for
respondent No.5, has placed strong reliance upon Section 3 of the Act,
which provides that the Board shall consist of a Chairman and not less
than 12 and not more than twenty-five other members appointed by
the Central Government and such large body is entrusted with the
certification of the film.  Learned senior counsel also points out that
the Board appoints an examining committee for the purpose of
carrying out the functions under Rule 22 of the Cinematograph
(Certification) Rules, 1983. Sub-sections 2, 9, 13 and 14 of Rule 22
provide as follows:
22. Examining Committee. (1)

(2) The Examining Committee shall consist of, -
(a) in the case of a film, a member of the advisory panel and
an examining officer either of whom shall be a women and

(b) in the case of a long film, four members of the advisory
panel and an examining officer of whom two persons shall be
women;

    Provided that if the examining officer is unavoidably absent
at the examination of a film, the Examining Committee shall
consist of two members of the advisory panel in a case falling
under clause (a) and five members of the advisory panel in a
case falling under clause (b);

   Provided further that in the Examining Committee, in a case
falling under clause (a) one member shall be a woman and in a
case falling under clause (b) two members shall be women.


9) Immediately after the examination of the film each member
of the Examining Committee attending the examining shall
before leaving the preview theatre record his opinion in writing
in Form VIII set out in the Second Schedule spelling out in clear
terms the reasons therefore and state whether he or she
considers-

(a) that the film is suitable for unrestricted public exhibition.
i.e. fit for U certificate; or

(b) that the film is suitable for unrestricted public exhibition but
with an endorsement of caution that the question as to whether
any child below the age of twelve years may be allowed to see
the film should be considered by the parents or guardian of
such child. i.e. fit for UA certificate; or

(c) that the film is suitable for public exhibition restricted to
adults, i.e. fit for A certificate; or

(d) that the film is suitable for public exhibition restricted to
members of any profession or any class of persons having
regard to the nature, content and theme of the film of the film,
i.e. fit for S certificate; or

(e) that the film is suitable for U or UA or A or S certificate
as the case may be if a specified portion or portions be excised
or modified there from; or

(f) that the film is not suitable for unrestricted or restricted
public exhibition, i.e. that the film be refused a certificate.

and if the Chairman is away from the regional centre where the
film is examined, the form aforesaid shall be prepared in
duplicate.

(13) It shall be the personal responsibility of the examining
officer to examine whether each and every guideline issued by
Government has been followed and to bring any lapse or
deviation to the notice of the Chairman.

(14) The quorum for the Examining Committee for a long film
shall be four of whom at least two persons shall be women.

6.      In terms of the aforesaid rules the examining body, in the
present case, has examined the film and recommended it for giving U
certificate subject to the cuts directed by it and accordingly,
the certificate has been issued after complying with the said
requirement.

7.      Learned counsel for the petitioner states that the objection in
this writ petition is only with regard to the title of the film and the film,
as such, is not yet released and its contents are not known and that
the film is stated to be a Telugu version of Marathi film by name
Time Pass.

8.      While there appears to be no objection with respect to the
contents of the film, the issue in this writ petition is only with regard to
the title. During the hearing of this writ petition, while the learned
counsel for the petitioner tired to object the word Pori as a slang,
learned standing counsel and learned senior counsel emphatically state
that it is neither an un-parliamentary word nor is a word amounting to
slang but is generally referred to as a word describing a girl. Learned
senior counsel has pointed out para 8 of the affidavit, extracted above,
where the petitioner himself accepts that the said work is synonymous
to Ammayi, Pilla, Yuvathi, Bidda etc. Hence, it cannot be said that the
said word is slang.

9.      Moreover, the certification of the film by the Board is required to
be in conformity with the guidelines stipulated by the Government of
India and I had an occasion to examine the said guidelines while
deciding WP.No.30376 of 2011 under judgment dated 01.12.2011
reported as VADLAPATLA NAGA VARA PRASAD v. CHAIRPERSON,          
CENTRAL BOARD OF FILM CERTIFICATION . Section 5B of the Act      
together with guidelines was extracted in the aforesaid decision and it
is appropriate to reproduce the said portion hereunder:

       5-B. Principles for guidance in certifying films.-

(1) A film shall not be certified for public exhibition if, in the
opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the
film or any part of it is against the interests of1[the sovereignty
and integrity of India] the security of the State, friendly
relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality,
or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite
the commission of any offence.

(2) Subject to the provisions contained in sub-section (I), the
Central Government may issue such directions as it may think
fit setting out the principles which shall guide the authority
competent to grant certificates under this Act in sanctioning
films for public exhibition.


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA    
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING          

New Delhi, the 6th December, 1991.

NOTIFICATION

S.O.836-(E) In exercise of the power conferred by sub-section
(2) of Section 5 B of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952)
and in supersession of the notification of the Government of
India in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
No.S.O.9(E), dated 7th January 1978, except as respects things
done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the
Central Government hereby directs that in sanctioning films for
public exhibition, the Board of Film Certification shall be guided
by the following principles: -

1.      The objectives of film certification will be ensure that
(a)     the medium of film remains responsible and sensitive
to the values and standards of society;
(b)     artistic expression and creative freedom are not duly
curbed;
(c)     certification is responsive to social change;
(d)     the medium of film provides clean and healthy
environment; and
(e)     as far as possible, the film is of aesthetic value and
cinematically of a good standard.

2.      In pursuance of the above objectives, the Board of Film
Certification shall ensure that

(vii) human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity,
obscenity or depravity;

(ix) scenes degrading or denigrating women in any manner are
not presented;
(x) scenes involving sexual violence against women like
attempt to rape, rape or any form of molestation, or scenes
of similar nature are avoided, and if any such incident
germane to the theme, they shall be reduced to the
minimum and no details are shown:
(xi) scenes showing sexual perversions shall be avoided and if
such matters are germane to the theme, they shall be
reduced to the minimum and no details are shown;

(xviii) visuals or words involving defamation of any individual or
a body of individuals, or contempt of court are not
presented:

EXPLANATION: Scenes that tend tot create scorn, disgrace and
disregard of rules or undermine the dignity of court will come
under the term contempt of Court

        In this connection, a decision of the Supreme Court in
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF DOORDARSHAN v. ANAND          
PATWARDHAN [(2006) 8 SCC 433 : AIR 2006 SC 3346] was also noticed    
wherein the Supreme Court laid down the tests required to be applied
while examining the mandate of Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
Para 16 of the decision in VADLAPATLA NAGA VARA PRASADs case      
(1 supra) to the extent relevant is extracted hereunder:
16. In another decision in DIRECTOR GENERAL OF  
DOORDARSHANs case (3 supra) the Supreme Court has    
observed as follows:

32. Therefore, one can observe that, the basic guidelines for
the tier of fact must be:
(a) whether " the average person, applying contemporary
community standards" would find that the work, taken as
a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.;
(b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently
offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the
applicable state law; and
(c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious
literary, artistic political, or scientific value.

33. The Constitution of India guarantees everyone the right to
freedom of expression. India is also a party to the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and therefore bound to
respect the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by
Article 19 thereof, which states:
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without
interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression;
this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and
impart information and ideas of all kinds regardless of
frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in form of
art, or through any other media of his choice.

34. This right guaranteed by the Indian constitution is subject
to various restrictions. Like, respect of the rights or reputation
of others; protection of national security or of public order, or
of public health or morals etc. The catchword here is
'reasonable restriction' which corresponds to the societal norms
of decency. In the present matter, the documentary film
Father, Son and Holy War depicts social vices that are eating
into the very foundation of our Constitutional. Communal riots,
caste and class issues and violence against women are issues
that require every citizen's attention for a feasible solution.
Only the citizens especially the youth of our Nation who are
correctly informed can arrive at a correct solution. This
documentary film in our considered opinion showcases a real
picture of crime and violence against women and members of
various religious groups perpetrated by politically motivated
leaders for political, social and personal gains.

10.     From the above, it is evident that the examining committee as
well as the Board, which consist of large representative body including
women members, was satisfied with the film and certified it for
universal exhibition by granting U certificate. Undoubtedly,
the judicial review is still available against the said certificate, but on
the facts and circumstances of the present case, the petitioner has not
been able to establish any such infringement vis--vis the freedom of
expression guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
The certification of the film and its proposed exhibition, therefore,
cannot be interfered with merely on the perception of the petitioner.
This Court, therefore, is of the view that the petitioner has failed to
establish even, prima facie, tenability of the contentions.
Hence, no interference is called for.

       The writ petition is dismissed. As a sequel, the miscellaneous
applications, if any, shall stand closed. There shall be no order as to
costs.
______________________  
VILAS V. AFZULPURKAR, J  
June 4, 2015

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