Ramesh. S/o Chotalal Dalal vs. Union of India (Landmark Case)

Case Name – Ramesh. S/o Chotalal Dalal vs. Union of India

Citation No: 1988 AIR 775, 1988 SCR (2) 1011

Bench

  1. Sabyasachi
  2. S

This case is related to cinematography act read with right to speech and expression under art 19(1).

 

Facts of the Case

  1. “Tamas” a serial titled was based on book by Shri. Bhisham Sahni was screened on TV for four episodes.
  2. The Petitioner moved to this court under Article 32 for Writ of Prohibition restraining its further screening to enforce the fundamental rights under Article 21 and 25 and declaring it as violation of Sec 5(b) of Cinematograph Act 1952.
  3. The High Court of Bombay granted interim stay. On Appeal after seeing the complete serial the stay was vacated. SPL was filed against the Judgement.
  4. “Tamas” depicts Hindu Muslim and Sikh Muslim tensions before Partition of India and killings and looting that took place then.
  5. The Petitioner stated that the exhibition of Serial is against the Public Order and likely to insight people for commission of offence. Events and characters have been depicted in a manner which is provocative in nature. Therefore an offence under Sec 153A of IPC.
  6. The Respondents urge that the authorities have considered the Film for Public exhibition and have been misjudged for being a wrong approach. The depiction of Violence is a fact and a depiction of Truth only.

 

Issues

  1. Whether the serial “tamas” subject to public morality?
  2. Whether the impunged sections of cinematograph act violative of fundamental rights?

 

 

 

Judgement

  1. The Cinematograph Act contains provisions to maintain the susceptibilities of the Public.
  2. The Approval by the examining committee must be given full weight.
  3. The Correct Approach would be reading the book or screening of the serial from ordinary man.
  4. It was found by the division bench that the picture viewed was entirely capable of creating a peaceful impression on to public and that it is a naked truth of History.
  5. The Court was unable to see any violation of Art 21 and Art 25 and there is no such danger to the communal atmosphere.

 

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