Plea seeking legal warning for violent movie scenes withdrawn after Madras High Court warns of hefty costs

A litigant on Wednesday withdrew his petition in the Madras High Court seeking instructions from the Central Board of Film Certification to issue a statutory warning with the words “The knives and sickles used in this film are made of paper and the colored water is used as blood” in future films.

The plea was withdrawn after the court Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala warned to dismiss the argument with costs. The bench observed that the petition was moved simply for publicity and without any material.

S Gopikrishnan, party in person, argued in court that schoolchildren carried guns and knives in their bags instead of books when they went to school.

Can you give an example where a child carried knives instead of books?… No document was mentioned to show that the children carried weapons instead of books. These sentences are incorrect facts,” observed the court.

The litigant, in his affidavit, said that young people between the ages of 16 and 35 engaged in serious crimes after being influenced by films. These young people, after watching movies of actors, try to imitate the same in real life and end up committing serious crimes, it has been alleged.

Gopikrishnan said the films create fight scenes to attract fans to theaters. These fans end up believing the same thing and try to imitate the same thing in real life and get caught by the police, thus ruining their lives.

He also gave examples of recent incidents in Chennai and Delhi. In Chennai, university students fought with large knives, sickles, etc., and wreaked havoc on the subway. In Delhi, a group of young people were implicated in a murder after watching the movie “Pushpa”.

Emphasizing that certification by CBFC is subject to appeal, the court suggested that in case the litigant has a complaint regarding the certification of certain films, he could challenge it before the competent authority.

Case title: S Gopikrishnan c. Regional Officer, CBFC and others

Case no: WP No. 11733 of 2022

Andrea G. Henderson