Certify, don’t censor: Court tells CBFC

The Bombay high court has come down heavily on CBFC, reminding it of its duties and powers

GN Bureau | June 14, 2016


#Udta Punjab   #Bombay High Court   #CBFC  


In a strongly worded order, the Bombay high court has directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to allow the screening of Udta Punjab – a film depicting the problem of drug abuse – with just one cut, as against 13 recommended by CBFC. The film is set to release on June 17. 

Here are some of the observations (as per media reports) made by the court on the case:

•    The court said that today audiences are direct and open and people born after 1980 are very mature, so why was the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) worried. The court added that multiplex audiences are discerning and that how could the CBFC decide which word is right or wrong. It said that the film industry is not made of glass that it (CBFC) needs to ‘handle with care’.
•    Defining the role of the film certification body, the court said that CBFC should only certify, not censor and that the public is the biggest censor.
•    On the row over reference of Punjab in the film, the court said that it is open for a creative person to choose the backdrop, setting and story line and that no one can dictate how and what the content of the film should be. It added that several states elections would be held in 2017 and that the film is not made keeping in mind the elections scheduled in Punjab. 
•    The court also said that certain degrees of freshness, change of attitude should not result in bringing about disruptions or creating hurdles and obstacles as this would kill creativity. It added that these days, filmmakers are brutal, direct and straightforward and just because of this one need not treat them harshly.
•    The court said that the filmmakers have saved all the promotional expenses as all this gave them enough publicity.
•    The court told the CBFC not to act like a grandmother and to change as per the times. It said that the CBFC need not be over-sensitive in the matter of art.
 

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