IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
1. This petition seeks a declaration against the Union of India and the Chairman Central Board of Film Censors, that the provisions of Part II of the Cinematograph Act 1952 together with the rules prescribed by the Central Government, February 6, 1960, in the purported exercise of its powers under Section 5-B of the Act are unconstitutional and void. As a consequence the petitioner asks for a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, direction or order quashing the direction contained in a letter (Annexure X) dated July 3, 1969 for deletion of certain shots from a documentary film entitled 'A Tale of Four Cities', produced by him for unrestricted public exhibition.
2. The petitioner is a journalist, playwright and writer of short stories. He is also a producer and director of cinematograph films. He was a member of the Enquiry Committee on Film Censorship (1968) and is a member of the Children's Film Committee. He has produced and/or directed many films some of which have been well-received here and abroad and even won awards and prizes.
3. The petitioner produced in 1968 a documentary film in 2 reels (running time 16 minutes) called a Tale of Four Cities. In this film he purported to contrast the luxurious life of the rich in the four cities of Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and Delhi, with the squalor and poverty of the poor, particularly those whose hands and labour help to build beautiful cities, factories and other industrial complexes. The film is in black and white and is silent except for a song which the labourers sing while doing work and some background music and sounds for stage effect. The film, in motion sequences or still shots, shows contrasting scenes of palatial buildings, hotels and factories-evidence of the prosperity of a few, and shanties, huts and slums-evidence of poverty of the masses. These scenes alternate and in between are other scenes s
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