The Kerala High Court stated on August 3rd that the conditions stipulated by the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) for a movie’s theatrical distribution should also be conceded when it is broadcast on OTT platforms.
This follows a petition disputing the OTT distribution of the unedited version of Prithviraj‘s Kaduva. The CBFC has already ordered that Kaduva’s theatrical run be adjusted (Central Board of Film Certification).
In his decision, Justice VG Arun stated that where the CBFC has previously issued directives, even after the OTT rights to a film are sold, those directions must be followed. The issue is now slated to be heard in two weeks.
In its judgment, the Court stated, “I see much force in the petitioner’s allegation.” After the Board of Film Certification reviewed all factors and issued the directions at Ext.P8, the party responders are required to assure compliance when their film is distributed in theatres or via OTT. As a result, even if OTT rights to the film are sold, they can only be subject to the aforementioned stipulation.
“I believe the petitioner’s claim has great weight.” After the Board of Film Certification reviewed all factors and issued the directions at Ext.P8, the party responders are required to assure compliance when their film is distributed in theatres or via OTT. As a result, even if OTT rights to the film are sold, they can only be subject to the aforementioned stipulation.
“In such cases, respondents are required to guarantee that, while displaying the film ‘Kaduva’ through OTT platform, the instructions in Ext.P8 be strictly followed.” According to my sources, the procedure for controlling the distribution of movies via OTT platforms has yet to be finalized. This is an issue that deserves careful consideration and urgent response. The learned CGC shall require the first respondent to produce a rebuttal affidavit/statement describing the efforts taken in this respect.”
Since its announcement in 2021, the film has been mired in legal wrangling. The pleader had already filed a legal suit to block its disclosure. The lawsuit was dropped when the Second Additional Sub Judge of Ernakulam gave an interim order blocking the release in December 2021.
Following that, the pleader contested the film’s certification under the Cinematograph Act. The Court had ordered that the CBFC make a ruling. The CBFC approved the release on the condition that the protagonist’s name is changed from Kuruvachan.
Following its theatrical release, the pleader approached the HC again, saying that the film was released internationally without changing the name and seeking orders blocking the film’s OTT release.