Karnataka Cinemas Regulation Act, 1994 - Rule 35(c) of the Karnataka Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1971 - to exhibit the films approved by the Films Division - No Board Constituted - State Govt. can issue orders for Compulsory Certificate from Films Division - Writ - single judge dismissed - Division Bench allowed the writ - again reversed the earlier order on reconsideration and held that "We have already held that the documentary Films referred to supra produced by third respondent are not approved by the State Government 'from time to time' under Section 12(1)(c) of the Act read with relevant Rules and the impugned order and notice in the writ petition are quashed. We also made an observation to constitute the Advisory Board by the State Government under Rule 8 of the Rules. Since this process may take some time, in the meanwhile, it would be just and proper for this Court to give direction to the Licensing Authorities in the Karnataka State to incorporate the terms and conditions in the licenses that would be issued in favour of the licensees stating that the films including documentary which are enumerated under Clauses (a) to (c) of Section 12 of the Act that are produced by third respondent shall be screened in the theatres of licensees on such terms and conditions that may be imposed upon them which are not objectionable to the State Government. Ordered accordingly." - Apex court held that A consideration of the various provisions contained in the Act and the Rules including those extracted above do not indicate the availability of the power to the State Governments to issue any such blanket directions. even the absence of such Board cannot clothe the State with the power to issue the impugned directions inasmuch as in that event the alternative mode of approval under Rule 17 has to be availed of. - So construed, we have no doubt that the initial order passed by the Division Bench allowing the Writ Appeal and setting aside the impugned notice was perfectly justified. The subsequent order passed on 18th November, 2006 virtually reverses the relief granted in the Writ Appeal and once again imposes the requirement on the appellant to exhibit documentary films produced by and procured from the Films Division only. In fact, the said requirement was directed to be made an express condition of the licence to be granted to theater owners including the appellant. We do not find any authority or sanction in any provisions of the Act/Rules to sustain the said later direction of the High Court. -However, as the order of the Division Bench clearly states that the impugned later direction is only during the interregnum i.e. valid till such time that the Advisory Board is constituted, there can be no doubt that if at present there is a Advisory Board functioning the said direction must cease to remain in force and consequently the conditions incorporated in the licence of the appellant to the said effect will have to be deleted. We order accordingly and further direct that if the Advisory Board is functioning as on date it will be open to all concerned including the appellant to seek approval under the provisions of Rules 18, 19 and 20 of the Rules of the documentary films it intends to exhibit. - 2015 S.C. MSK LAW REPORTS



challenging, inter alia, a communication dated 2nd  April,  2005  issued  by
the Principal Secretary to Government of Karnataka, Department  of  Internal
Administration and Transport, Bangalore to the 2nd respondent informing  the
said respondent that theater owners  and  owners  of  M/s  PVR  Cinemas  are
required to obtain compulsory certificates from  Films  Division  under  the
Karnataka Cinemas Regulation Act, 1994  (hereinafter  referred  to  as  "the
Act") and under Rule 35(c) of  the  Karnataka  Cinemas  (Regulation)  Rules,
1971 (hereinafter referred to as  "the  Rules")  framed  thereunder  and  to
exhibit the films approved by the  Films  Division.   An  endorsement  dated
28th May, 2005 requiring the appellant  to  obtain  "Compulsory  Certificate
from Films Division" under the aforesaid Act and the Rules was also  put  to
challenge in the writ petition filed.  The effect of the aforesaid  impugned
orders, it may be noticed,  is  that  the  appellant  before  screening  the
regular movies in its theaters was required  to  exhibit  documentary  films
produced by the Films Division only.

Whether the appellant  was  exhibiting  films  obtained  from  private
sources which are or not approved by the State Government  is  a  matter  of
some controversy.  
The same, however,  need  not  detain  the  court.   Even
assuming that the documentary films obtained from private sources  exhibited
by the appellant did not have the  approval  of  the  State  Government  the
question has to be answered is

whether the same would constitute  sufficient
justification on the part of the State Government  to  issue  directions  to
the effect that the appellant should exhibit documentary films  produced  by
the  Films  Division  only.   

A  consideration  of  the  various  provisions
contained in the Act and the Rules including those extracted  above  do  not
indicate the availability of the power to the  State  Governments  to  issue
any such blanket directions.  
The power conferred  is  to  issue  directions
for exhibition of films approved by the State Government which approval,  as
noticed earlier, can be obtained in two different modes.

It is not in dispute that at the relevant  point  of  time  the  State
Advisory Board had not be constituted.  
It is also not in dispute  that  the
said Board came into existence in the  year  2007.  
 However,  what  is  not
clear is whether the said Board continues to remain in office  as  on  date.
Be that as it may, if the Advisory Board was not available at  the  relevant
point of time even the absence of such Board cannot clothe  the  State  with
the power to issue the impugned directions inasmuch as  in  that  event  the
alternative mode of approval under Rule 17 has to be availed of.

  So construed, we have no doubt that the initial order  passed  by  the
Division Bench allowing the Writ  Appeal  and  setting  aside  the  impugned
notice was  perfectly  justified.   
The  subsequent  order  passed  on  18th
November, 2006 virtually reverses the relief granted in the Writ Appeal  and
once again imposes the requirement on the appellant to  exhibit  documentary
films produced by and procured from the Films Division only. 
 In  fact,  the
said requirement was directed  to  be  made  an  express  condition  of  the
licence to be granted to theater owners including the appellant. 
We  do  not
find any authority or  sanction  in  any  provisions  of  the  Act/Rules  to
sustain the said later direction of the High Court.

  However, as the order of the Division Bench clearly  states  that  the
impugned later direction is only during  the  interregnum  i.e.  valid  till
such time that the Advisory Board is constituted,  there  can  be  no  doubt
that if at present there is a Advisory Board functioning the said  direction
must cease to remain in force and consequently the  conditions  incorporated
in the licence of the appellant to the said effect will have to be  deleted.

We order accordingly and further direct  that  if  the  Advisory  Board  is
functioning as on date it will  be  open  to  all  concerned  including  the
appellant to seek approval under the provisions of Rules 18, 19  and  20  of
the Rules of the documentary films it intends to exhibit.

Consequently, the part of the impugned order passed on 18th  November,
2006 in reversal of the main part of the order  dated  16th  November,  2006
stands set aside and Civil Appeal No.10091 of 2010 is allowed to the  extent
indicated above.   -2015 S.C. msk law reports

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