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A particular complaint that has often been made is that the theatres often display obscene film posters. The Cinematograph Act 1952 does not directly cover obscene posters and these come under the common law of the land relating to obscenity, particularly section 292 of the Indian Penal Code. Enforcement under Section 292 of IPC comes within the purview of the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations, particularly their law enforcing agencies including the police.

There are other Central/State legislations that cover this aspect. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 is administered by the Department of Women and Child Development in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, but the responsibility of enforcement is, again, with the local authorities. The West Bengal Government have enacted the ''''West Bengal (Compulsory Censorship of Film Publicity Materials) Act, 1974'''' to deal with obscene and indecent posters. The Tamil Nadu Government has enacted Tamil Nadu (Compulsory Censorship of Film Publicity Materials) Act 1987. Various Municipalities and Municipal Corporations have laws which regulate display of posters. What is lacking is strict implementation of these laws.


After discussion with the film industry representatives, the Govt. of India decided that the film industry would deal with this matter on its own. Thus, the Film Publicity Screening Committees were formed with headquarters at Bombay and regional chapters at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madras and Thiruvanthapuram. The committee, which began its work in April 1990, screens films posters for obscenity and depiction of women in a derogatory manner or highlighting violence. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has decided to watch this situation for the time being to see if it Works satisfactorily.

Rule 38

According to Rule 38 of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983 any person advertising a film by means of insertion in newspapers, hoarding, posters, handbills or trailers shall indicate the category of certification. Non compliance of this rule will be a cognizable and non-bailable offence under section 7 of Cinematograph Act 1952