CHENNAI: In a breather for actor Dhanush, the Madras High Court on Monday gave an exemption to ‘The Gray Man' actor from his personal appearance before a Judicial Magistrate, Saidapet, in connection with case proceedings initiated against him for not displaying the disclaimer for smoking scenes in his Velaiilla Pattadhari (VIP) movie posters.
Justice N Sathish Kumar passed the direction in the convenience of the actor after hearing the arguments of the latter’s counsel Vijayan Subramaniam that the proceedings initiated against his counsel did not align with the law and rules.
The petitioner had prayed for a direction to dispense with his appearance before the trial court and pleaded for quashing the case.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the complaint filed by the Public Health Department before the trial court was under Section 190(1) (a) and 200 CrPC read with Section 5 of the Cigarette, Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 and the same do not apply to a film.
“The said provisions are only applicable for advertisements by manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors of tobacco products,” the advocate added.
Recording the submissions, the judge observed that the actor need not make a personal appearance before the trial court in the case.
It is noted that Dhanush’s estranged wife, Aishwarya Rajinikanth, who was also arrayed as an accused in the case got the same orders last week. She was one of the directors of Wunderbar Films Private Limited; a film production company of the movie 'VIP' in 2014.