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No tax relief for Gujarati film on gays?

in INDIA, 12/01/2014

Is sex of the homosexual kind sufficient ground for state government to deny 100% tax exemption to the first Gujarati movie on plight of gay community members? A film-maker has moved the Gujarat high court after the state government refused to exempt his film, 'Meghdhanushya — The colour of life', under its scheme to promote Gujarati language films.

Dr Kiran Devmani, director and producer of the film, filed the petition as the entertainment commissioner did not grant 100% tax exemption to his movie, and also put the condition that words like 'gay, homosexual and samlaingik' be removed from the film. He was also advised to drop a speech by gay icon Manvendra Singh Gohil, the prince of Rajpipala.

"The commissioner's decision is arbitrary as no law prohibits making of a Gujarati film on homosexuals," said CR Mishra, counsel for Devmani. "The law allows authorities to deny exemption only if the movie promotes social evils, they don't mention homosexuality."

He says his film does not promote or endorse homosexuality. "We only show the miserable life lived by such people," said Devmani, who was an ayurvedic doctor. The central censor board has given it an 'A' certificate.

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