The smoking in public places is banned and if a person is booked on that offense, he is capable of getting imprisonment up to two years as per rules. But when an actor gets booked for the same offense done in the film, it might look odd and one is compelled to think a little about the way law has found him guilty.
And those who read the news of having booked a case against Fahad Fazil for smoking in the (Malayalam) film 'Diamond necklace' would be quite surprised how he could be charged for an act done in a film. The charge against Fahd is for violating the rule against public smoking, under Tobacco Act 2003, section 5-22 and for advertisement rules Act 2004(6)
In fact scenes of actors smoking in films are not permitted except for inevitable occasions when a warning scroll against smoking should be displayed before, during and after the scene and the Actor himself has to talk about the ill effects of smoking in the scene. The case against Fahd was based on those formalities. Those rules were framed on the notion that Film stars have an influence on young minds and as such to dissuade the Film Directors from creating scenes of popular artists smoking in the film. While the Government cannot be blamed for its good intentions it must not be allowed to go to ridiculous levels. There is another problem for a film with smoking scenes, it will get an 'A' certificate with stipulation not to show the picture in theaters before 9 PM. It is serious as it may affect the collection
Though the rule was made as back as 2004 not many actors stand booked for the offense as the Police do not strictly follow rules in all cases. The film fraternity say that since the scripts of films are made from the real life, as long as tobacco is also a part of the public life it might inevitably be portrayed in films too.
To draw a mutually satisfactory line is the way out.
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