Local organizations or states cannot ban film certified by CBFC, Tewari

NEW DELHI: The central government reiterated in Parliament today that a local organization cannot ban a film if it has a problem with the content of that film and has to approach the Central Board for Film Certification in redressal.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari stressed that state governments have the power to regulate cinemas under Constitution‘s entry 33 in List II, subject to the exclusive power of the Central Government for certification (entry 60, List I).

Referring to cases where films had been banned or held up by state governments, Tewari said the film ‘Viswaroopam‘ was not banned but delayed by executive orders under section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code in Tamil Nadu. In 2011, the film ‘Dam 999‘ was banned by Tamil Nadu while ‘Aarakshan‘ was banned in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The Minister said Article 19(2) of the Constitution provides for reasonable restrictions imposed by Law on the freedom of speech and expression.

The exclusive power of certifying films for public screening rests with the Central Board of Film Certification as mandated by the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

Executive orders of State Governments, at times, also orders issued under various State laws relating to Cinema made under Entry 33, List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, regulate public screening.

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