Movies

Film industry wants legal powers for film tribunal

MUMBAI: The film industry wants the powers of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to be enlarged to hear appeals from persons aggrieved by the decisions of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The film industry has demanded amendment to Section 5C of the Cinematograph Act 1952 to include such appeals so that most trial courts could automatically direct petitions to the Tribunal, thus preventing the filing of large number of petitions on frivolous grounds.



However, both the Film Federation of India and the Film and Television Producers Guild of India said this would not mean that the High Courts should surrender their powers to entertain writ petitions.



In his representation to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, FFI President Jitendra Jain referred to individuals, groups of persons or organizations representing narrow, partisan and sectarian and identity interests creating disputes to hold up the screening of films that are cleared for public viewing by the CBFC.


These disputes pertain only to certain portions of the film/song/lyric which may be objectionable to the beliefs of these parties and individuals. But many of them then approached the Courts and acquire injunction orders.



It is unfortunate that though most of these injunctions are withdrawn and the matter decided in favour of the producers, there is no compensation for the resultant loss or the delays in court hearings.



He said this rigmarole leads to producers and exhibitors suffering huge losses as the films are generally sold in advance, thereby committing the exhibitors to the dates of the screening.



Guild President Manmohan Shetty in a separate representation to the Minister said the matter gets compounded when some groups take the law into their own hands and attack cinema halls creating law and order problems, which in turn lead to the police stopping the screenings of the film temporarily or otherwise to restore peace.



Shetty said Dadasaheb Phalke awardee and nominated Member of Parliament Shyam Benegal had been requested by the film industry to liaison with the Ministry on this matter on behalf of the entertainment industry.

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