November 25th, 2011
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Legal fraternity fumes at film ban

dam-999Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government’s ban on ” Dam999″ would not survive judicial scrutiny, legal experts say. From the celebrated 1989 Supreme Court judgment involving Tamil film “Ore Oru Gramathile” to the latest anti-quota flick “Aarakshan”, courts have repeatedly said it is not for state governments to ban films once they are certified as per the Cinematograph Act of 1952 and Rules of 1983.

Unmoved by the perceived threats to public order, violence and unrest if the film was screened, the SC in 1989 said: “If the film is unobjectionable and cannot constitutionally be restricted under Article 19(2), freedom of expression cannot be suppressed, on account of threat of demonstration and processions or threats of violence. That would tantamount to negation of the rule of law and surrender to blackmail and intimidation. It is the duty of the state to protect the freedom of expression since it is a liberty guaranteed against the state.

The state cannot plead its inability to handle the hostile audience problem. It is its obligatory duty to prevent it and protect the freedom of expression.” It is not necessary that everyone should sing the same song in a democracy, SC said. “The producer or as a matter of fact any other person has a right to draw attention of the government and the people to the view that the existing method of reservation in education institutions overlooks merits…,” it said.


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