In a landmark move, Malayalam film industry's two prominent organisations have been pulled up for issuing an unofficial ban on director Vinayan.
On Friday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) set up by the Central government in 2007 to eliminate unfair practices, has asked the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) and two of their subsidiary organisations, to pay a fine to the tune of Rs 11.25 lakh, say reports.
The order comes in the wake of director Vinayan approaching the CCI after the organisations reportedly issued an unofficial ban on him in the industry. According to his complaint, AMMA and FEFKA allegedly asked actors and other technicians in the Malayalam film industry not to associate with Vinayan.
The CCI has slapped a fine on the office bearers of the said organisations, including actor and sitting Lok Sabha MP Innocent, who is the president of AMMA, and Edavala Babu, who is the general secretary. Directors Sibi Malayil and B Unnikrishnan and production controller K Mohanan should also pay a fine, reports The Times of India.
While AMMA has been asked to pay a fine of around Rs 4 lakh and FEFKA has to shell out Rs 85,000 (approx), FEFKA's director union and production executives' union have been asked to pay a fine of over Rs 3 lakh and Rs 56,000 respectively.
Actor Innocent and director Sibi Malayil have to individually pay around Rs 51,000 and Rs 61,000 respectively and Unnikrishnan and Mohanan have to pay around Rs 19,000 and Rs 27,000 respectively.
The New Indian Express quotes a portion of the order which states:
“Such anti-competitive practices have had an adverse effect on the Malayalam film industry. The commission found the impugned decisions and practices of the organisations and their office-bearers to be in contravention of Section-3(3) of the Competition Act-2002."
Speaking to reporters, director Vinayan said that the CCI's order has proved that he fought a battle of truth.
"They turned against me because I challenged their unhealthy practices. I have been fighting a lone battle for the past eight years. This order will be helpful for the next generation in Mollywood," Vinayan told TOI.
While Edavela Babu and Unnikrishnan claimed that they hadn't yet received a copy of the order, they said that they would appeal against it.