Police panel gives clean chit to Churuli

A panel of police officers who had been directed by the Kerala High Court to view and report statutory violations, if any, in exhibiting the Malayalam movie Churuli on an OTT platform have given it a clean chit.

The panel headed by Additional Director General of Police K. Padmakumar has observed that it is impossible to stipulate that a set of characters living in a remote, imaginary land and constantly battling against adverse conditions should use only civil language. The filmmaker has the freedom to decide on the nature of the language that the characters should speak. The characters are intrinsically linked to the language they use. It is not possible to analyse the language that they use in isolation. The narrative and the situations in Churuli show that such a language is necessary for these characters.

OTT platform

For Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, pertaining to obscenity, to be applicable, the obscene utterance has to be made in a public space. An OTT platform, which can be accessed only through a subscription plan, cannot be considered a public space and hence the obscenity charge is not applicable, according to the panel.

The Cinematographic Act, which contains sections for censoring content, has not yet been made applicable for OTT platforms, which are governed by the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Rules, 2021. As per these rules, the films screened in the platforms have to be classified based on the content, it said.

‘A’ certificate

Warnings including the ‘A’ certificate (restricted to adults) and another on “strong language, violence, threat visuals” are prominently displayed before the movie. Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of expression. As the artiste has not committed any crime as per the country’s laws through the film, the panel is of the opinion that there is no requirement for any criminal proceeding against Churuli .

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 6:42:38 pm |