CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday passed an order to dispense with the personal appearance of actor Rajinikanth’s daughter and filmmaker Aishwarya in a case filed on charges of not displaying the disclaimer on the smoking scene of Velai Illa Pattathari (VIP) movie poster in 2014.
Since Aishwarya was the director of Wunderbar Films Production Limited, the company that produced VIP, the latter was arrayed as an accused in the case.
Justice N Sathish Kumar passed the direction on hearing the plea filed by Aishwariya seeking directions to dispense with her personal appearance and to grant an interim stay of all further proceedings before the Vlll metropolitan magistrate court at Saidapet.
Advocate Vijayan Subramaniam, representing Aishwarya, submitted that the complaint was lodged by Tamil Nadu Tobacco Control Unit’s state president before the health department. On receiving the complaint, the state government filed a complaint before the trial court under Section 190 (1) (a) and 200 CrPC read with section 5 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.
“These rules and regulations are not maintainable because the said provision is only applicable for advertisements by manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors of tobacco products. None of the subsections of the said provision can be used against the producer of a film or the artists therein unless the alleged scene was an advertisement for a tobacco product,” the advocate added.
He further submitted that while the company is the accused, the IPC does not allow adding a managing director and director of the company as the accused.
Recording the submissions, the judge passed orders to dispense with Aishwarya’s presence before the magistrate court. The matter has been adjourned for the final hearing on August 10.