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PM's Intervention Sought To Implement Ban On Smoking In Films

The Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss urged the Prime Minister Mr. Man Mohan Singh to take the initiative for implementing the ban on smoking in the films and television. //

With the ministries of health and information and broadcasting failing to reach consensus on modalities for implementing the ban proposed by Ramadoss, the minister approached Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resolve the matter.

According to official sources, Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi has been asked to chart out a solution along with officials of the two ministries.

"He is likely to meet the officials of the two ministries in the first week of March," they said.

The sources said the issue has become very sensitive as the health ministry had taken it up as a prestige issue. On the other hand, the information and broadcasting ministry - despite finding it difficult to implement the ban - cannot strike it down completely.

While the health ministry has been backing a complete ban on smoking in films and television, the information and broadcasting ministry has been looking for ways to implement the ban in a milder form with various exemptions.

The issue has also reached the courts, with filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt mounting a legal challenge in Delhi High Court against the ban in September 2005, saying it would suppress an individual's right of expression and meddle with the creativity of an artiste.

He said the ban was contrary to the Cinematographic Act.

--Edited IANS

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