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Sathyalaya Social and Cultural Organisation Vs. the Station Director, Madras Doordarshan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMedia and Communication;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P. No. 6507 of 1984
Judge
Reported inAIR1985Mad186
ActsCinematograph Act, 1952 - Sections 7; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantSathyalaya Social and Cultural Organisation
RespondentThe Station Director, Madras Doordarshan and ors.
Advocates:T.V. Ramanujam, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....section 7 of cinematograph act, 1952 - petitioner sought direction against respondents to telecast feature films in madras doordarshan in full without cutting, deleting, mutilating or altering any portion or portions in contravention of censor certificates issued for film - held, no statutory or contractual liability for doordharsan authorities to telecast programmes in an unedited or unabridged manner - cutting away of a few songs or scenes will not amount to altering or tampering with the films so as to contravene provisions of section 7 (1) (b) - petition dismissed. - - yet another contention put forth is that the feature films in hindi which are telecast from new delhi or other feature films in the regional languages like telugu, malayalam and kannada are not subjected to such..........petitioner prays for the issue of a writ of mandamus to the respondents directing them to telecast feature films in madras doordarshan in full without in any way cutting, deleting, mutilating or altering any portion or portions thereof, in contravention of the censor certificates issued for the film concerned. the petitioner is a social and cultural organisation and the affidavit in support of the writ petition has been filed by its secretary. the grievance of the petitioner is that the respondents do not telecast feature films in full but effect cuts of certain scenes or songs and consequently, the sequence of the film is lost and the viewers are deprived the opportunity of enjoying the films in full, his further contention is that guidelines ought to be prescribed as to how feature.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. The petitioner prays for the issue of a Writ of Mandamus to the respondents directing them to telecast feature films in Madras Doordarshan in full without in any way cutting, deleting, mutilating or altering any portion or portions thereof, in contravention of the censor certificates issued for the film concerned. The petitioner is a social and cultural organisation and the affidavit in support of the writ petition has been filed by its secretary. The grievance of the petitioner is that the respondents do not telecast feature films in full but effect cuts of certain scenes or songs and consequently, the sequence of the film is lost and the viewers are deprived the opportunity of enjoying the films in full, His further contention is that guidelines ought to be prescribed as to how feature films are to be telecast in the television centre so that the concerned officials working in the Madras Doordarshan can be prevented from making cuts in feature films or mutilating the pictures in an arbitrary and whimsical manner. Yet another contention put forth is that the feature films in Hindi which are telecast from New Delhi or other feature films in the regional languages like Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada are not subjected to such cuts and only Tamil films are being subjected to such cuts, and this is on political considerations.

2. For more than one reason, the contentions of the petitioner are not tenable. In the first instance, the programmes telecast in Doordarshan centres have to conform to a tight time schedule programme. This would inevitably lead to the pruning of certain programmes. Secondly, the Doordharsan centre does not compel television viewers to see the programmes telecast by it. There is also no statutory or contractual liability for the Doordharsan authorities to telecast the programmes in an unedited or unabridged manner. So far as the averment regarding cutting of scenes on account of political considerations is concerned, the charge is vague and devoid of basis. Lastly, the averment that the feature films of other languages are not subjected to such cuts and only the feature films in Tamil languages are subjected to cuts, appears only to be a surmise of the petitioner and there are no concrete materials on the basis of which such a contention can be raised. Sec. 7 of the Cinematograph Act 1952, prescribes the restrictions which an exhibitor of films has got to observe. Inter alia Cl. (b) of sub-sec. (1) of S. 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 only interdicts an exhibitor from altering or tampering with, in any way, any film after it has been certified. This sub-clause is relied upon by the petitioner to contend that the deletion of some scenes or songs will amount to alteration of or tampering with the feature film. This contention cannot be accepted, because the cutting away of a few songs or scenes will not amount to altering or tampering with the films. Such being the case, there is no provision of law on the basis of which the petitioner can seek the issue of writ of mandamus against the respondents. Consequently, the issue of rule nisi is declined and the writ petition will stand dismissed.

3. Petition dismissed.


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