Ex-Kerala judge slams minister Balan's 'stupid remark' on drugs on film sets

Justice Kamal Pasha
Justice Kamal Pasha

Kochi: Minister A K Balan's statement that the police require a complaint to search for drugs in film shooting locations is nothing but stupidity, a former judge of the Kerala High Court said on Sunday.

Retired Justice B Kemal Pasha said he was surprised to hear such a statement from the holder of a high-ranking public office. Balan, who is the minister for law and culture and cinema, had on two occasions said that the police can act only after they get a complaint about the use of drugs on film sets.

Drug use on film sets became a hot topic of discussion in Kerala after the the office bearers of the Kerala Film Producers Association last week revealed that use of drugs among a section of new generation actors of the Malayalam film industry was common.

"The statement that the police can conduct a search or register a case, only if there is a complaint, is nothing but stupidity. Possession of drugs is a cognisable offence and can invite sentence up to 20 years and if the same accused is caught in such a case again they can even be given a death sentence," Pasha said.

"The police can conduct a search and for that the search officer has to intimate it to his senior officer and proceed. And once at the location, the officer has to just inform that they are going to conduct the search to the concerned producer or director, whosoever is in control of the location," added Pasha.

The Association office bearers had revealed that the use of drugs, like LSD and similar items, was common among a section of the new generation actors and they were surprised why the police were not raiding the vans used by actors.

(With inputs from IANS)