CENSORSHIP ON MOVIES AND OTT PLATFORM

CENSORSHIP ON MOVIES AND OTT PLATFORMS

Since the advent of cinema in India it has gained an immense popularity in our country. Movies and web-series have become an important part of our lifestyle. These are considered as one of the greatest modes of entertainment and a leisure time for people. India is one of the most prolific film making country round the globe. According to a report approximately 1500 to 2000 movies releases annually within India in 20 different languages.  Every week a new film releases in the cinema and the people rush to the cinema halls for witnessing their favorite movie stars. The right of a film maker to make and exhibit his film, is a part of his fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) (a) of the constitution. It is the constitution which guarantees the fundamental right of the freedom of speech and expression, and defines the contours of the said freedom and perhaps we should consider the inter-relationship between the constitution and the cinema. A film is a medium for expressing and communicating ideas, thoughts, messages, exhibit feelings and emotions. It may be intended either for public exhibition (commercial or non-commercial) or purely for private purpose.

Every citizen of India has been provided with fundamental rights by the Indian Constitution under its Part III. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees its every citizen six fundamental freedoms out of which one is freedom of speech and expression. Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution which guarantees all citizen “the right to freedom of speech and expression” this means one’s right to speak and to ability to express their opinions and to air grievances by words either spoken or written. However, ‘Reasonable Restrictions’ have been imposed for freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution. The expression ‘Reasonable Restrictions’ under the Article 19(2) clearly means that the restrictions imposed on an individual for exercising the right of freedom of speech and expression must not be excessive in nature, so as to go beyond the requirements than needed in the society. A proper balance has to be maintained while exercising the freedom of speech and expression and taking the due care of the reasonable restriction envisaged in the constitution. The restrictions imposed must be imposed “in the interest of” or “for the practical purpose” mentioned in the clause permitting the imposition of the restriction on that particular freedom, i.e., there must be a reasonable restriction imposed and the objects enshrined in the respective clause. Hence, no restriction can be imposed on the freedom, on grounds other than those specified in the respective clauses.

 

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