Smoking scenes in films against public interest: government

November 22nd, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) The central government Friday told the Delhi High Court that smoking scenes in films and television programmes are against public interest.A large number of people get affected by observing what their stars do on screen in films or advertisements. People start imitating them. People would be encouraged for smoking if they see filmstars or sportsperson doing the same in a film or advertisement, said Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra and advocate Mukul Gupta.

The government’s submission came before Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul who is hearing the matter as an umpire judge after a split verdict was given by a division bench on filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s petition challenging the government notification banning smoking scenes in films and television programmes.

“There have been many instances where people, particularly the youth and the children, have tried to imitate what they see on the screen. In some cases, people have jumped from high buildings trying to imitate what they saw in a film. So will be the case if on-screen smoking is allowed,” said counsel for the government.

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