Noted filmmaker and actor Amol Palekar has approached the Bombay High Court challenging rules which make pre-censorship of the scripts of plays mandatory by the Maharashtra State Performance Scrutiny Board.
Palekar, in his petition, has said the rules are ‘arbitrary’ and violative of the fundamental rights of a citizen guaranteed under the Constitution.
Under section 33(1)(wa) of the Bombay Police Act, the Commissioner of Police or Superintendent of Police can frame rules for Licensing and Controlling Places of Public Amusement (other than cinemas) and Performance for Public Amusement, including melas and tamashas.
By these rules, for regulation in the interest of public order, decency or morality, prior scrutiny of such performances and of the script was made mandatory.
After scrutiny, a certificate would be issued subject to conditions.
“This pre-censorship leads to curtailment of artistic freedom. Because of this, many historic plays have not been performed in its original form,” the petition said.
The petition came up for hearing on Monday before a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice MS Sonak which adjourned it for a week.