Maharashtra govt. to sue television producers for hiring child actors

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Mumbai, June 12 (ANI): Maharashtra Government has decided to sue television producers for hiring child actors in their serials.

The state's Labour Ministry has decided to file cases against eight such producers who have child actors working in their serials, and also against four entertainment channels for airing these serials.

The ministry had sent showcause notices to these producers, and had sought information on the child actors' working hours, but after getting no response from these producers, they decided to file cases against them.

"Eight serial producers were issued notices which they did not respond to, so our department has decided to file cases against them... Under the Child Labour Prevention And Regulation Act of 1986, there are certain areas where working (by children) is prohibited and there are some areas where some rules have been set and the labour department should be informed about that.

Those people who did not provide information, were served notices, and when they failed to respond, we filed cases against them," said Nawab Malik, State Labour Minister, Maharashtra.

The producers meanwhile, justified their actions by saying that they take proper care of their actors and ensure they are not exploited in any way.

"We are all sensitive people, we will never do this and if there are guidelines we will definitely follow, because we want to cooperate the government in this case. We are not against them, the children are the future of the country. Our kids also go and work so we also as parents feel that it should not happen," said Jamnadas Majethia, a television producer.

There are numerous serials featuring child actors in lead roles currently on air on various entertainment channels, some of which are big hits with the viewers, and have high TRP's.

The producers are being accused of not complying with the labour norms, and also of not furnishing details of the remuneration being paid to the children below 14 years of age. If found guilty, the producers could face simple imprisonment of six months, or a fine of rupees 10,000, or both. (ANI)

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