Maharashtra government mulls censor panel for screening ads

MUMBAI: Maharashtra state food and drugs administration minister Anil Deshmukh has emphasised the need for a censor board for screening advertisements. He stated that the government is seriously considering setting up a monitoring panel.

While replying to the an issue raised by the opposition parties on the floor the legislative assembly, Deshmukh reiterated that the government supported Shiv Sena MLA Dr Neelam Gorhe's suggestion that there should be some control to restrict advertising firms from misusing images of icons or religious figureheads.

The need for a regulatory authority arose from the controversy revolving around the derogatory manner in which a pharmaceutical firm had used the image of Gautam Buddha for selling its product "Orgee".

Members of the ruling party as well as the opposition demanded that the officials of the firm should be prosecuted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MOCCA). Members also protested against the placement of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj's pictures on "beedi" packets.

Deshmukh suggested that a committee could be set up to examine the advertisements before they are published. He also added that the government is examining legal provisions for initiating action against erring companies.

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