Volume 3 Issue 11 - June 01, 2005

All India Ophthalmological Society calls for ban on Naina

DNIS News Network - A recent Bollywood release showing its blind female protagonist developing ability to sight ghosts and dead people following a cornea transplant has come under attack from medical experts and blind rights organisations for projecting corneal implant negatively.

The All India Ophthalmological Society (A.I.O.S) filed a Public Interest Litigation (P.I.L.) in Bombay and Delhi High Courts seeking a stay on the film Naina featuring Urmila Matondkar, claiming that the movie could prejudice eye donors.

Hearing the P.I.L. filed by Dr S. Natarajan, Chairman of the scientific committee of the Society and President of the Maharashtra chapter of the National Society for Prevention of Blindness, Bombay High Court ordered that the producers of Naina bring out a full-page advertisement stating that eye donation was not dangerous.

The National Association for the Blind had also joined the cause. “We have written a letter to the film producers’ organisation, asking them to review the film and drop certain sequences if its members think fit. We have no intention to stop the film,” Dinu Gandhi, Secretary of the association, was quoted as saying in a section of the media.

The Delhi High Court, however, refused to entertain the P.I.L filed by O.S.I, and a Division Bench of Chief Justice B.C. Patel and S. K. Kaul even threatened to impose heavy cost on the petitioner, saying the court was offended to know that Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the organisation, Dr. S Natarajan, had filed a similar petition in Bombay High Court the same day as was done here. Terming it as “forum hunting”, the court said “we would have imposed heavy cost for this kind of a conduct had it involved an individual and not a society.”

“This (the movie) will have a major set back on the eye donation drive in the country and further discourage people from coming forward for corneal implantation, adding to the miseries of blind people and also will add to the number of blind population,” the P.I.L. had stated.

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