Empowered Committee recommends re-drafting of Cinematograph Act 1952

NEW DELHI: The empowered Committee under the chairmanship of retired Punjab and High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal has submitted a fresh draft of the Cinematograph Act 1952 to incorporate its recommendations related to certification of films and piracy issues.

In its report submitted to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari today, the Committee has also dealt with issues such as advisory panels, guidelines for certification and issues such as portrayal of women, obscenity and communal disharmony, classification of Films and jurisdiction of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

The Committee also gave its views on advisory panels in different parts of the country to the Central Board of Film Certification; apart from ways to deal with video piracy.

A thorough review of the Cinematograph Act has also been undertaken in the light of developments over the last six decades.

The Censorship Guidelines were last amended on 6 December 1991. The Board presently consists of non-official members and a chairman (all of whom are appointed by Central Government) and functions with headquarters at Mumbai. It has nine Regional offices/Advisory Panels, one each at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Cuttack and Guwahati. The Regional Offices are assisted in the examination of  films by Advisory Panels. The members of the panels are nominated by Central Government by drawing people from different walks of life for a period of two years. 

The committee was constituted by the Ministry on 4 February 2013 and held several meetings during its eight-month tenure with various stakeholders. These meetings were held in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Eminent persons connected with the film sector were invited by the Committee to present their views. The Committee also held discussions with members and officials of CBFC, officials of the Animal Welfare Board of India, Chairperson of BCCC, representatives of the Film Federation of India, the Films and Television Producers Guild of India and the Multiplex Association of India.

Other members of the Committee are former I and B Secretary Uday Kumar Varma; FCAT Chairman Lalit Bhasin; former CBFC Chairperson Sharmila Tagore; eminent film lyricist Javed Akhtar; CBFC Chairperson Leela Samson; South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce Secretary and former Film Federation of India President L Suresh; Supreme Court advocate Ms Rameeza Hakim, and I and B Joint Secretary (Films) Raghvendra Singh who was the member convener.  

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