Mumbai: The Bombay High Court was on Monday informed by the Maharashtra government that the pre-censorship of plays or dramas was not compulsory as per its notification, issued in March this year.

A division bench of Chief Juctice Manjula Chellur and Justice Mahesh Sonak while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bollywood actor Amol Palekar were informed about this notifiction.

Challenging the censorship rules, Palekar had termed them (rules) as ‘arbitrary’. He also contended that the rules violate the fundamental rights of a citizen guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

Vishal Thadani, the counsel appearing for the government furnished the copy of the notification, which dealt with the rules for Licensing and Controlling Places of Public Amusement and Performance for Public Amusement. He informed the bench that according to these rules the art forms of Drama or plays are excluded from pre-censorship, however the same is applicable on Tamasha and Mela.

Thadani also informed the bench that other art forms like classical music or dance programmes etc will not invite pre-censorship.

Accordingly, Thadani urged the bench to dismiss the petition as the main purpose of it is served with this notification.

After perusing the notification, the bench asked clarification from Palekar’s counsel about the same.

However, the counsel appearing for Palekar sought for adjournment saying that his client was not in India and he wants to take instructions regarding this. The bench then posted the matter in next month.

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