Bollywood producers are considering the need for specific drug consumption clause in future contracts

Producers bodies and producers are now in favour of including certain drug consumption clauses in a well-defined manner in future contracts.

Lately, several Bollywood actors have been in headlines for their links in the Bollywood Drug Cartel or for procurement and consumption of drugs. This has brought a turmoil in the film industry. While international studios have a clause that states violation of agreement if an artiste consumes alcohol or indulges in substance abuse while working, India’s film industry does not particularly elucidate this in its contracts. However, producers bodies and producers have now started feeling that after several drug allegations against actors, this clause should be introduced in a well-defined manner in the future contracts.

As per the reports of Pinkvilla, Dina Dattani, who has been legal advisor to a lot of foreign studios, said, “Yes, most international studios do have a clause worded similar to the following draft: The consumption of alcohol and/or controlled substances during working hours will be considered a violation of the terms of this agreement and may be cause for the artist’s immediate dismissal at the producer’s entire discretion.”


She further added, “In addition, contracts often state that the artist shall adhere to all the policies of the producer in place relating to the prohibition of the use of drugs, alcohol, smoking, employee harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace, and others in place from time to time in relation to this production. A set of policies is then provided to each artist/crew member for that production.”

When asked if there is a drug-related clause in actors’ contracts in India, Dina revealed, “I have not seen these types of clauses in artist agreements in India (unless they are with a major studio). I would also state that there is still a major reluctance in India for star artists to enter into detailed agreements that cover these and other issues.”

Some film producers’ bodies are considering the idea of including prohibition of drug or alcohol clause in artiste/technician contracts. President of IMPPA, TP Agarwal is disturbed about allegations that were recently claimed by Kangana Ranaut who said 99 per cent of the film industry is into drugs.

He stated, “I object to the allegation. After the recent episode of drug allegations against actors, there is definitely a need for insertion of a clause in contracts. Once Covid 19 is under control, we will definitely hold a meeting with other producers’ bodies to discuss this issue.’

In the report of Pinkvilla, senior lawyer Hitesh Jain, who has worked with a lot of big production firms, mentioned that there is definitely a need for a clause on drugs in artistes agreement. He stated, “There are standard representations in contracts that artists shall not indulge in any activities which shall bring disrepute to the brand/ product or the company. We may now see a new trend where there may be a specific clause that maybe insisted by some companies stating artists should not indulge in narcotics and if named in any narcotics investigation for either consumption or otherwise dealing with drugs, then the company may have the right to terminate the agreement.”

Several lawyers say that some producers already have this clause in their contracts. Talking on one certain contract, Rohini Vakil who is legal advisor to film bodies and members of the film fraternity, said, “The clause reads as follows: The artist warrants that he shall not indulge in any acts which are outside the parameters of the law which may be in force in India, including but not limited to the Indian Penal Code 1860 and the Narcotics Drugs and Pyschotropic Act 1985.”

She further added, “It is not in every agreement but going forward definitely must be part of every agreement. If any artist indulges in any illegal activity, it is a huge loss for the producer as there are many people involved in a production. So, this should become mandatory given the current circumstance.”