MUMBAI, India — Movies shown on Indian television will be monitored for violence, nudity and bad language -- and yanked off the air under a court order if deemed unsuitable for children -- broadcasters said Thursday.
The Bombay High Court this week ruled that all movies shown on TV networks in western Maharashtra state must be approved for general TV by India's government-appointed Censor Board.
Since movies can't be broadcast separately for one state, key broadcasters Star and Sony networks said the ban on adult-rated movies would apply nationwide.
Police will monitor TV broadcasts and prosecute those that show movies not approved by the Censor Board, under the court order.
The order covers all broadcast, satellite and cable channels, foreign and domestic, operating in India. It came in response to a petition filed last year by a Bombay college teacher, asking for a set of guidelines to regulate TV.
The petitioner, Pratiba Naitthani, said movies in cinemas were censored and there should not be a "free-for-all for adult movies" on television.
Yash Khanna, corporate communication head of Star TV, said broadcasters would approach the Censor Board for clarification of the new restrictions.
Sunder Aaron, business head of Pix, a division of Sony Entertainment India, said Sony has already approached the board.
Only movies certified as "U" or "U/A" -- unrestricted and accompanied by adults -- by the Indian Board of Film Certification can be screened on TV.
The Indian Express newspaper carried a list of the movies Indian audiences will miss seeing on TV, including "Gangs of New York," "Indecent Proposal" and "Silence of the Lambs."