The absence of these punitive measures indicates serious shortcomings in the aforementioned laws that require immediate attention. We need a mechanism to cancel the recordings of cable TV channels that regularly engage in such illegal practices. Fines and other forms of punitive measures may also be considered. Let us look at the legal issues. Article 19, paragraph 1, of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right to freedom of speech and opinion. At the same time, however, article 19, paragraph 2, also permits appropriate restrictions on the exercise of the above-mentioned right in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, State security, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in respect of contempt of court, defamation or incitement to commit a criminal offence. Currently, India maintains the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), also commonly referred to as the censorship authority. The CBFC is the only legal censorship and certification body. CBFC reports to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India. According to the law, only films that have been certified by the CBFC can be shown to the public, and even films shown on television must be certified by the CBFC.
Second, the TV station did not have the license to broadcast the film. Even a legally acquired copy cannot be communicated to the public without acquiring broadcasting rights. Under section 2(dd) of the Copyright Act 1957, „broadcasting“ means communication to the public by any means of wireless distribution, whether one or more forms of signs, sounds or visual images; or by cable, including retransmission. In ESPN Star Sports v. Global Broadcast News Ltd., the Court held that the broadcasting right is distinct from copyright under the Copyright Act 1957 and that, therefore, the right of reproduction of transmission under section 37 of the Copyright Act 1957 is a right separate from the broadcasting organisation and not only from the copyright owner. The illegal distribution of films infringes both the copyright of the producers and the broadcasting rights of the broadcaster to whom the film is authorised to be broadcast by the producers of the film. Such licensing deals can even amount to several crores, depending on the film`s box office performance. According to a 2011 report, India lost more than $1.4 billion to cable piracy that year, and that number is growing. In some cases, an injunction has been issued against broadcasters.
However, few cable TV networks have been asked to pay fines or damages for participating in piracy, or even their recordings have been cancelled for copyright infringement. The CBFC was established in 1920 after the passage of the Indian Cinematography Act. Police chiefs were tasked with leading the council in different cities. The regional censorship authorities were independent. In the post-independence period, these regional bodies were brought together under the umbrella of the Bombay Film Censorship Board. After the passage of the Cinematography Act of 1952, the Central Council of Film Censors was formed. In 1983, however, the film laws were amended. Since then, the censorship authority has been known as the Central Board of Film Certification. It is important to note that another principle set out in the above notice is that „(t)the Commission carefully examines the titles of films and ensures that they are not provocative, vulgar, offensive or violate any of the above guidelines“.
This is important because there are media reports showing that the censorship authority also wants a change in the name of the film and is calling for the removal of a reference to the state of Punjab from the title of the film. This therefore shows that there is at least one legal authority with the censorship authority to request a change in the title of the film. After a full examination and analysis of each incision requested by the CBFC, the court approved only excision 9, which shows the protagonist urinating in public. At the request of the parties, the tribunal reviewed the disclaimer and requested the deletion of the reference to India contained therein. The Court did not agree with the CBSA in all but one of the cuts. It noted that the deletions proposed by the CBFC were not necessary given the context and theme of the film and that the CBFC`s conclusion regarding the violation of decency, sovereignty, integrity and morality was misplaced. Contrary to the CBFC`s opinion, the court did not find it necessary to remove swear words and offensive words, slang, scenes involving drug use, use of place and state names, references to elections and politicians, and other scenes. So why should a film of this kind be banned when it can be authorized with a restrictive certification such as „A“? The Supreme Court has also had the opportunity to assess obscenity and vulagarity in the context of reality TV films such as Udta Punjab, which is said to be based on the drug problem raging in Punjab. There was a very popular case nicknamed „Bandit Queen Case“ because the film was based on the true story of Phoolan Devi, the bullied village girl who turned into a feared Dacoit.
In Bobby Art International v. Om Pal Singh Hoon and others, the court ruled: Despite the original 94 cuts, Udta Punjab made 13 cuts for the final film, including the urination scene and the offensive language (Express Web Desk). In fact, these cuts ensure that none of the censored bad morals are considered acceptable. But they also serve to portray situations that are somewhat unrealistically focused.