On 3rd November 2014, the hon’ble Supreme Court changed the age old practice followed in the film industry in India that encouraged only male make up artists to be employed in the industry. The Court held such practice as violative of the Constitution and hence illegal and amounts to discrimination on the basis of sex. The bench consisted of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice U. U. Lalit who raised the question as to why a female is not allowed to be a make up artists for the male actors. Any law that makes out such discrimination will not be entertained by the Court. The Court also summoned the union registrar of the film industry to appear before the Court on 10th of this November and make clear the condition. The hon’ble Supreme Court also pointed out that such discriminative practices are common in the developed cities in India.
The Court was considering the matter when dealing with the petition initiated by a group of women make up artists and additionally included the National Commission for Women as a petitioner in the case. The petition was filed against Cine Costume Make-up Artists and Hair Dressers Association (CCMAA). After analyzing the facts the Court issued direction to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to collect information with regard to such discrimination and also to file an all-inclusive affidavit. The Court was discussing on that affidavit on Monday. The traditional practice was that women were engaged only as hair stylists in the film industry. The petitioners moved the Supreme Court when they were denied access by the make-up artists association in the States of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The Court further held that the matter deals with gender tactlessness as some of the women were denied registration as make up artists which affected their right to livelihood under Article 21. The discrimination made to women make up artists is embarrassing and in turn violates the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution along with other constitutional rights. The Court also emphasized that they have to be treated equally and such practice cannot be continued anymore.