State Minister for Cultural Affairs and Cinema Saji Cheriyan. (Twitter/@CPIMKerala)
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday made it clear that the report of the Justice Hema Commission, which studied the issues faced by women in the Malayalam film industry, cannot be released as such as it comprises personal account of several women working in the sector.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs and Cinema Saji Cheriyan told the Assembly that retired Justice K Hema, who had headed the three-member committee, herself demanded the government to keep the report confidential.
He was replying to a submission on the issue raised by Vadakara legislator K K Rema (UDF).
"The Hema panel does not fall within the purview of the Commission of Enquiries. Personal experiences of several women, working in the industry, have been made part of the report. So it can not be released as such," the minister said.
The State Information Commission already issued an order saying that the reports, comprising the personal account of individuals, cannot be published as a public document, he pointed out.
The government made its stand clear on the issue in the wake of several activists and pro-women outfits including Women in Cinema Collective, a body of women in the Malayalam industry, raised concerns against not releasing the report though it was submitted in 2019.
Though the panel recommended effective steps to ensure gender justice in the film field, it has been kept confidential without taking any action, the WCC alleged.