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Jan 24, 2009 at 01:05am IST

Ban on smoking in films unconstitutional: HC

New Delhi: Good news for Bollywood's filmmakers. On Friday, the Delhi High Court quashed the Centre's notification banning smoking on screen.

This after filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt filed a reaction plea to the ban imposed by the Delhi High Court in October 2006.

The ban was revoked as it violates the basic fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression and also termed it unconstitutional.

“The smoking ban was against the Constitution especially when you have the Censor Board in place. You don't need another body,” Mahesh Bhatt's lawyer Chander Lall said.

Constitutional or not, smoking, many filmmakers and actors feel is essential for their creative expression, be it John Abraham in Anurag Kashyap's No Smoking or Shah Rukh Khan in Don.

“I think creative freedom should be allowed in cinema and arts. Cinema is make-believe, so huge censorship should not be allowed in such matters. In personal life I truly agree with Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss that one should try and quit smoking,” Shah Rukh Khan said.

Spearheading the no smoking drive on and off the screen is Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss who has been encouraging stars including Shah Rukh Khan to kick the butt. But the as they say, the show must go on and it is—forthcoming release like Dev D, will see Abhay Deol not only smoking onscreen but playing a drug addict too.

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