Little over a week after its release, the Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government has sent a legal notice to Bollywood film Badhai Ho starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra and Neena Gupta among others. The AAP government has asked removal of several scenes from the film.
SK Arora, Additional Director (Public Health) and State Tobacco Control Officer, objected to the inclusion of several scenes in Badhaai Ho depicted smoking and promotion of tobacco brands.
Arora, according to a report by IANS, said that this violated Section 5 of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA). 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,” Arora was quoted by PTI.
He added that the legal notice was sent to the director, producers and actors of Badhaai Ho also because the film had shown surrogate advertisement repeatedly. “We demand the immediate removal of these scenes from the film,” Arora told news agency IANS.
He said that Bollywood stars and films served as role models for youngsters, who followed their habits and copied them blindly adding that filmmakers ought to think on ‘moral grounds.’
Arora said that the Delhi government had issued similar notices to Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar and Akshaye Khanna int he past. The department had taken a dim view of Akshay Kumar smoking in his film Gold despite frequently campaigning for health awareness and fitness.
Badhai Ho was released on 18 October.