Who decides on animal scenes? | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Oct 20, 2017-Friday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Who decides on animal scenes?

Aamir Khan?s heroics astride a horse in Rang De Basanti may not have been limited to posters alone but allowed to hit the silver screen had the Ministry of Environment and Forest realised sooner that the Animal Welfare Board of India is not authorised to certify the depiction of animals in movies. That authority is the prerogative of the ministry.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 02:35 IST

Aamir Khan’s heroics astride a horse in Rang De Basanti may not have been limited to posters alone but allowed to hit the silver screen had the Ministry of Environment and Forest realised sooner that the Animal Welfare Board of India is not authorised to certify the depiction of animals in movies. That authority is the prerogative of the ministry.

The board, a week before the film’s release, had withdrawn the certificate forcing producer Ronnie Screwvala to cut out the scenes of traditional Sikh Khalsa fights on horse back, an annual affair on Baisaki in Punjab.

The environment ministry realised that the power to certify the use of animal vests with them and not the board only recently while looking for answers in a court case in Mumbai High Court.

On a petition filed by PETA, the court, in August 2005, issued directions to ensure observance of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 and the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983. It directed the Animal Welfare Board to process process all applications from filmakers within two weeks and certify that no cruelty was caused to animals during shooting.

While following up on the order, the ministry, sources say, found out that in 2002 former environment minister Maneka Gandhi had withdrawn the power from the board and vested with the ministry.

The reason attributed for the decision was that the board didn't have the wherewithal for physical inspections to enforce Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001. However, in the absence of any formal communication to the board, the board copntinued to certify depiction of animals in hundreds of movies. 

Officials now say that the decision is being communicated to the Animal Welfare Board.