No more ‘censorship'' powers to Censor Board?

NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Film Certification — otherwise known as the censor board — the body monitoring body is likely to be stripped off its ‘censoring'' powers and will be left only with the authority to ‘certify''.

uttara@tribuneindia.com

New Delhi, August 12

The Central Board of Film Certification — otherwise known as the censor board — the body monitoring body is likely to be stripped off its ‘censoring' powers and will be left only with the authority to ‘certify', sources in the Information and Broadcasting sources said on Friday.

The Ministry is believed to be working on bringing about major changes in the Cinematography Act. The amendments will be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament, sources claimed.

In the wake of the recent furore by the film industry under CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, the central government has expressed its desire to avoid any more controversies.

Sources further stated the entire film certification process would be reworked and changed, adding there will be two committees: one for reviewing and the other for monitoring.

Members of the two committees will also be appointed from the National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights including psychologists.

The films will be given certificates under following categories: U12+, U15+, A and A+ (for extreme violence and sex scenes).

The monitoring committee will not clear more than two movies in a day and there will also be a ‘tatkal' category for producers who want urgent clearance, provided they were willing to pay.

Money collected for certification will go to the Labour Ministry, which sends the money for welfare of the workers involved in filmmaking.

Sources added that another amendment is regarding smoking warnings: instead of existing warning in scenes showing the act, the films will have the warning in the beginning.

The central government said the aim behind the changes was to let the people decide what they wanted to watch.

Nihalani was criticised in June for ordering 89 edits in the movie ‘Udta Punjab'. The Bombay High Court  warned the board against overstepping its mandate.

The high court observed: “There is no mention of the word ‘censor' in the board. The board should use its powers under the constitutional framework and the Supreme Court's directions”, as it allowed makers to release the movie with one edit and an amended disclaimer. — ANI

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