Information Commissioner orders release of Justice Hema Committee report on Kerala film industry

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 6 (PTI) The Kerala State Information Commission on Saturday ordered the release of the Justice K Hema Committee report which studied the issues faced by women in the Malayalam film industry.

State Information Commissioner A Abdul Hakkim directed the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) to reasonably disseminate the information while ensuring that it does not compromise the privacy of individuals.

"While providing attested copies of the Justice K Hema Committee report, the SPIO should ensure that the materials do not lead to the identification of individuals referenced in the said report or compromise their privacy," the order read.

The Information Commissioner, in his order, however, asked the SPIO not to disclose the details of paragraph 96 contained on page 49 and paragraphs 165 to 196 from pages 81 to 100.

It also asked the SPIO to file a compliance report by July 26.

The committee was formed after the 2017 actress assault case involving actor Dileep to study issues of sexual harassment and gender inequality in Malayalam cinema.

Even though the report was filed in 2019, the government is yet to release the details as it was suspected to contain sensitive information.

Meanwhile, state culture minister, Saji Cheriyan said on Saturday that the government will study the order and release the report accordingly.

"The committee report has not mentioned any particular name and only refers to certain doubts and circumstances. We cannot register any case based on existing laws.

"If anyone feels aggrieved by the committee report, they can approach the court and move legally," Cheriyan said.

The minister added that there were many major issues discussed in the committee report.

"Similarly there are many other reports also which deal with the issues prevailing in the cinema industry.

"The government has considered all these and has decided to organise a two-day cinema conclave after the monsoon to discuss all such matters," Cheriyan said.

The actress-victim who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films was allegedly abducted and molested in her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress.

There are 10 accused in the case. Dileep, the eighth accused in the case, was also arrested and sent to jail. He was released after the court granted him bail. The case is pending. PTI RRT RT

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