State has rights to ban film: TN
Chennai, June. 29 (PTI): The Tamil Nadu Government today told the Madras High Court that it had powers under the Cinematography Act, 1952, to stop the screening of the film `Da Vinci Code'.
"The state had the powers to decide on exhibiting a film during exigencies post certification", Government Pleader P Wilson told the court.
In a counter affidavit filed on behalf of the Deputy Secretary of the State Home Department and City Police Commissioner, he said that the purpose of section 13 of Cinematography Act, 1952 was to deal with exigencies after certification of a film. The petitioners had not challenged this Act, he pointed out, seeking dismissal of the petition by Sony Pictures which possesses the film's release rights in the country.
"The petition was liable to be dismissed on the ground that it proceeds on a legally erroneous premises that after a film is certified by the Central Board of Film Censor, no authority therein can interfere with its public exhibition", he contended.
The announcement of the film's screening had created a flutter among Christians and a section of Muslims, who protested vehemently and staged demonstrations against it. The state government suspended the screening of the film for two months from June 1, this year to avert communal tension and to maintain peace, the affidavit added.
"A ban was necessary to maintain even tempo of life and it is a bonafide exercise in the interest of maintaining peace", the government said.