There has been a request by the Ministry of Defence to obtain a “No Objection Certificate” before telecasting any movie/ web series based on Army theme from the Ministry to the Central Board of Film Certification in order to advise to all production houses.
To prevent the production houses from “distorting the image of the Army”, a letter has been sent by the Ministry to the CBFC where the persons concerned may be advised to prevent “any incident which distorts the image of Defence Forces or hurts their sentiment.”
A copy of the letter has been attached to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for specific remarks.
A PIL before the Allahabad High Court was filed recently seeking ban for disrespecting the Indian Army and their uniforms by streaming of web series produced by Ekta Kapoor.
In Episode One of “XXX – Season 2”, taking exception to the depiction of an Army officer’s wife as an adulterous woman, the plea filed by the brother-in-law of an Indian soldier stated,
“The depiction in the broadcasting of this episode sends out the message that the wives of the officers of the Indian Army indulge themselves in extra-marital affairs and perform Adultery behind the backs of the officers when they are serving the nation.”
Contentions were raised that portrayal of the lives of army officers’ spouses in such a derogatory light may cause “irreparable damage” to psychological health and the mental peace of the soldiers and negatively impact their performance.
Advocates Ankur Verma, Abhinav Gaur, and Dhananjai Rai representing the petitioner stated that while Freedom of Expression is a fundamental right, reasonable restrictions on speech contained under Article 19(2) of the Constitution should also be looked upon and considered.
The submission was made that the armed forces are a special service and in terms of Article 33 of the Indian, Constitution needs differentiated treatment.
While urging the court, the plea states to stop the broadcast/ airing of the Web Series on the online platform ALT Balaji and any other platform where it is being broadcasted,
“This very article that takes away the basic right from armed forces implicitly expects safeguard of at least the honour of forces. Those safeguarding the country cannot be exposed to insults and mocking.”