As per reports, the Delhi Government’s Health Department has issued a notice to the director, producers and actors of the Ayushmaan Khurana starrer ‘Badhaai Ho’, asking them to remove smoking scenes as well brand promotions of tobacco products from the film.
Additional Director (Health), Dr S K Arora, said there are a lot of smoking scenes and also a tobacco shop displaying tobacco packs shown repeatedly in the movie which are violations under section 5 of COTPA (Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act). These are punishable offences under section 22 of COTPA.
“A strict compliance notice has been issued to the director, producers and actors of the recently released movie ‘Badhaai Ho’ asking them to remove smoking scenes as well brand promotions of tobacco products from the film as these are violations under COTPA,” he said.
Section 5 of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA) prohibits advertisement of cigarette and other tobacco products. Section 22 of COTPA prescribes penalty for contravention of Section 5 – (a) in the case of first conviction, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both, and (b) in the case of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees.
This is not the first time the Delhi Government Health Department has targeted the film industry. Earlier this year, the Delhi government’s Health Department has issued a show cause notice to Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan for appearing in a surrogate advertisement of an Indian pan masala brand. The Department had also issued notices on Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions alongwith Endemol Productions for airing a Kamala Pasand Pan Masala promotional advertisement. Earlier, the Department had issued a strict compliance notice to Karan Johar, Shahrukh Khan, Gauri Khan and others for promoting smoking in promotional posters of their film Ittefaq.
However, unlike these earlier instances, the notice with respect to Badhaai Ho is with respect to a CBFC certified film. The CBFC before granting certificate in any case checks for smoking disclaimers and other compliances. It is therefore unclear as to why has this notice been sent to the makers of the film when an expert body like CBFC would have checked for compliances before issuing the certificate.
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