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Theatre owner in Mumbai booked for displaying ‘obscene’ poster

The owner put an ‘obscene’ poster of an adult movie “shark ka atank” in display board outside the theatre.

mumbai Updated: Dec 26, 2017 17:57 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,obscenity,theatre

A magistrate court in the city has acquitted a theatre owner booked under the charge of obscenity for putting ‘obscene’ poster of an adult movie “shark ka atank” in display board outside the theatre.

The Metropolitan Magistrate, V R Dasri, in his order given in Marathi observed that if the movie was cleared by the censor board , its exhibition to public at large is not illegal . Hence showing a movie or its putting up a poster of movie which is not banned and is cleared with valid certificate is no crime, the court held.

The owner of the Imperial theatre, located in Girgaum was booked under section 292 of Indian Penal Code for obscenity. The prosecution claimed that the poster was obscene by contents and created a huge traffic problem on the road as people just stopped on the way to watch the poster.

As per the complaint given by Somnath Padsalkar, police sub Inspector attached with DB Marg police station, on November 24, 2014 when he visited the theatre, he saw obscene poster on the display board of the theatre. The officer asked the owner to remove the poster and took possession of the poster and recorded statements of the witnesses.

The prosecution claimed that ‘the poster displayed on the board was obscene. The poster was displayed in such a way that it would be prominently seen to the people.

The prosecution also argued that due to the poster, people would stop there to see it. It was contended that the theatre is on the main road and because of the mass gathering to just watch the poster, it created acute traffic problem in the locality. The prosecution contended that the public gathered to watch the poster often blocked the road for the traffic.

The magistrate court rejected the contention of the prosecution. The court in its order given in Marathi observed that ‘as per law, without obtaining proper certificate from the censor board, none of the movie can be exhibited for public at large in any theatre. The theatre owner had displayed the poster of the movie ‘Shark ka Aatank’ on its display board for public at large, means that the movie had a clearance from the censor board for exhibition of the movie. That means the public at large was entitled to watch the movie and therefor it cannot be said that exhibition of the movie was illegal.’

First Published: Dec 26, 2017 17:54 IST