The Madras high court on Friday said once a film certified for screening by the Censor Board, no group, organisation or association can demand further censoring on the ground that something in the film hurts religious, communal, racial or linguistic sentiments of someone or the other.
"The same may tantamount to the creation of the super-Censor Board," Justice V Ramasubramnian said, allowing a petition filed by producers of the Tamil movie Kaththi starring Vijay.
The petitioners prayed to the court to direct the state home secretary, the DGP and the commissioner of police to grant protection so as to enable them to have their name exhibited as producer in the prints as well as publicity material of the film.
A few organisations and political parties had staged demonstrations against the film's release on October 22 which they alleged was produced by one LYCA Productions Private Limited managed and controlled by persons close to the President of Sri Lanka.
The film was allowed to be screened only after government took prompt action but as some persons threw stones at two cinema theatres, the producers gave an undertaking to one Velmurugan of Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Katchi and its associates to remove their name from the prints as well as advertisements. Subsequently, the film was released.
The petitioner then gave a representation on November 7 to the home secretary as well as the DGP, seeking adequate police protection so that their name could be displayed in the film as well as in the publicity materials.
The judge said the organisations, which objected to the release of the film on the ground that the producers were related to the President of Sri Lanka, had no objection to the petitioner receiving the collections of the movie.
"They do not even have an objection to the people seeing the film and making it a big hit."
"Therefore, the protest itself was not based on any ideology," the judge said and directed the government and police to give protection to the producers to enable them to have their name in the exhibition of the film and publicity materials. "If anyone indulges in any threat, police may take stern action against them," the judge said.
Referring to the letter of undertaking given by the producers, the judge said "as a matter of fact, the authorities cannot grant a seal of approval to such letters of undertaking as the same may tantamount to the creation of super-Censor Board."