The Bombay High Court Wednesday refused any interim relief to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who had filed a petition in Bombay High Court saying he would not comply with the rules of the Cigarettes and Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production Supply and Distribution) Act while screening his soon-to-be-released film Ugly.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha said no case for interim relief is made out but allowed Kashyap to make a representation before the central government seeking modification in the rules.
Contending that the “no smoking” warning is a “violation of his creative expression”, Kashyap had in December 2013 told the court that he would not comply with the rules Act while screening Ugly.
Describing Ugly as a “dark thriller”, he had said in his petition that there are several scenes that depict the use of tobacco products as part of the film’s “sinister theme”. The petition said the projection is a “part of the director’s vision” and a cinematic genre that is rarely explored in Bollywood.
Under Rule 4(7) and 8 of the Act, the central government had written to the Censor Board asking them to make it mandatory for film makers to show the disclaimer during smoking scenes. Kashyap as interim relief sought a direction to Central Board of Film Certification to permit him to release his movie without the mandatory disclaimer.