[the sovereignty and integrity of India] the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence.
(2) Subject to the provisions contained in sub-section (1), the Central Government may issue such directions as it may think fit setting out the principles which shall guide the authority competent to grant certificates under this Act in sanctioning films for public exhibition.”
Secondly, does Government of India enjoy copyright over “Mann ki baat”? Going by the extant legal position, it is too short to stand alone as “original” work. Copyright law generally does not provide protection for short phrases and quotes. On the other hand, it is legally tenable to opt for trademark law protection or passing off in cases like the instant one.
Judgments: In Sinanide v La Maison Kosmeo (1928) 139 LT 365, it was held that advertising slogan such as “Youthful appearance is a social necessity, not a luxury” is not copyrightable. Also, corporate names such as “Exxon” in Exxon Corp. v Exxon Insurance Consultants International Ltd. RPC 69 was held not to be copyrightable.
Thirdly, what are the general ground rules concerning the functioning of CBFC? It is an open secret that the appointments are mostly political in nature. There seems to be some kind of ignorance as far as the applicable legal principles are concerned. CBFC unquestionably performs certain quasi-judicial functions as it decides on rights and liabilities of parties. In the light of Supreme Court judgment in A.K. Kraipak v. Union of India (1969), the following principles are applicable: A quasi-judicial authority must necessary adhere to the principles of natural justice.
The principles include: a) no one shall be a judge in his own case; b) no decision shall be given against a party without affording him a reasonable hearing; and c) quasi- judicial enquiries must be held in good faith, without bias and not arbitrarily or unreasonably. In short, CBFC does not enjoy unbridled freedom in deciding on certifications. The discretion is subject to Rule of Law. Therefore, in case this fact situation had actually happened or if it actually happens in future without following the principles stated above, tenable legal options are open.