Jayeshbhai Jordaar: Sex determination can’t be trivialised, shown routinely, Delhi HC


PTI, May 9, 2022, 5:15 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday expressed its concern over the scene showing the sex determination of a foetus in the trailer of Ranveer Singh-starrer Jayeshbhai Jordaar’ and told the makers of the film that the illegal practice can’t be trivialised or shown to be done in a routine manner.

bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi, which was hearing a PIL seeking deletion of the scene from the movie, asked Yash Raj Films to show it the relevant portions of the movie and said that the “overall message” may be good but it cannot be projected that pregnant woman can be taken to any clinic with a sonogram machine to find the sex of the foetus.

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“You take instructions otherwise we will have to stay,” said the bench, also comprising Navin Chawla, after watching the trailer of the film scheduled to be released on May 13.

“You see there is nothing to show that the lady is taken clandestinely or that this is not legal or actors are aware (in the scene) that it is an offence. What is coming out is that any pregnant woman can be taken to a centre with a sonogram machine and this can be done in a routine manner,” said the court.

“Don’t trivialise it to show that anybody can walk into any clinic and get it done. The dramatization should be that they are aware (that it is illegal) but it is still being done,” it further stated.

Senior advocate Jayant Mehta, appearing for the filmmakers, said that the “movie is about something illegal” and carries a disclaimer concerning the illegality of the act in question.

Central government lawyer Anurag Ahluwalia said that the trailer was certified by the CBFC and the filmmakers were asked to “put a disclaimer”.

The court said that the disclaimer in the trailer was not noticeable on account of its size and it did not “show the circumstances in which the lady is taken” to the clinic.

“This may give an impression that the family takes that woman to the doctor and you come out. No message that is illegal, no that it is wrong,” it said.

Lawyer Pawan Prakash Pathak, appearing for petitioner ‘Youth Against Crime’, argued before the court that the movie cannot promote ultrasound technique as a means for sex determination as it is illegal under the law.

The court said that a scene has to be seen in its context and questioned if the movie was showing the “ill of the society” or advocating the adoption of techniques of sex determination.

“It is like saying you should not show murder or rape because it is a crime. It is the context… If it is shown in the context that it is illegal how can you say? How would you tell a story otherwise,” it added.

In its petition, the petitioner has said that the scene in the trailer showing the “use of ultrasound technology in a clinic to determine the sex of the foetus and abortion technique in case of the girl child” is against the law which restricts advertisement of ultrasound technique for sex determination.

“Section 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 6 & 22 of The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act) squarely restrict the advertisement of ultrasound technique for sex determination and the objective of the act also negates such practises, what is being contested is the only deletion of the clinic scene and promotion of the ultrasound technique” the petition stated.

The petition said that while the petitioner appreciates the issue of female foeticide being raised and awareness being created among the public but the problem is that the ultrasound scene is shown openly without any censor.

The matter would be heard next on May 10.

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