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Plea against adding anti-tobacco clip: Doctor writes to Anurag Kashyap


anurag kashyap, film, mumbai, maharashtra,
Mumbai, March 1: Pankaj Chaturvedi, a doctor from Tata Memorial hospital in the city, has written an open letter to film director Anurag Kashyap, who had recently moved court after the CBFC refused to grant certification for his film Ugly as he refused to add anti-smoking message in the beginning of the film, said a DNA report.

The long letter details why the film maker must add the anti-smoking message in his film.

The filmmaker 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. The rules make it compulsory for filmmakers to crop or mask scenes depicting tobacco or its products.

The letter says why Kashyap must add the anti-smoking message in the film

The Bombay high court had issued notices to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Information and Technology and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). They have been asked to reply by March 5 on the petition filed by Kashyap, challenging the rules under the Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Act.

The petition noted that depiction or display of a character using cigarette or tobacco does not attract the audience's attention specifically to the product. It is not intended to promote the sale of the products and doesn't amount to advertising, it said.

Chaturvedi's letter said, "The best way to avoid that ‘disturbing' clip is by avoiding glamorization of tobacco in the movie. If it is absolutely essential, why are you shying from offering an editorial justification? Moreover, a law to protect public health naturally supersedes a law that governs entertainment. Moreover, I don't believe that a talented director of your stature needs ‘Ugly" smoking scenes to enhance the impact?"

His petition claims that two notifications issued in 2006 and 2012 by the authorities making amendments in the Act and rule 4 (7) and rule 8 of the Cigarettes and Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce Production Supply and Distribution Amendment Rules), 2012, need to be quashed as they are unconstitutional.

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