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Pahlaj Nihalani defends postponement of CBFC meet

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NEW DELHI: A meeting of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) slated to take place in Delhi was postponed because the agenda had not yet been decided upon, Board chairman Pahlaj Nihalani said.

Nihalani told Indiantelevision.com that it was erroneous to say that the meeting had been cancelled. He also said that the format of the workshop normally held when new members join had not yet been worked out.

Reacting to media reports, he denied that there was anything ‘crucial’ about the meeting as it was to be a normal meeting, which discussed routine matters and the way forward. “It would be wrong to read meanings into the postponement,” he added.

He also said that it was felt that a workshop worked better in Mumbai as the infrastructure needed for this was available in the CBFC headquarters in the western metropolis.

Earlier, reports said that some members were upset at the sudden manner in which the meeting was put off through what they called a ‘curt notice’ from the chairman.

Members felt that the meeting would have been important as it was slated to be held in Delhi in the presence of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry officials and Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore.

Nihalani had informed Board members on 5 June of his decision to postpone the 9 June meeting. However, some members felt that a meeting had to be called soon, regardless of Nihalani’s absence.

Some members had also hoped to draw the attention of the Ministry to what they considered the “authoritarian manner” of the chairman.

Nihalani’s note said, “The 139th Board Meeting-cum-workshop, which was likely to be held on 9 June 2015 at Delhi has been postponed. The new date and time will be intimated to you shortly.”

In a telephonic chat with this correspondent, Nihalani said, “The agenda was not fixed and circulated. Neither was the venue fixed. Under such circumstances, I had to call this off.”

When reminded that the meeting had been fixed three weeks in advance, he said Board members required sufficient time to gather together.

“The new Board members appointed by the BJP government and that includes me, have met once and the Board meets four times a year,” Nihalani added.

As the Board is a statutory body, a Ministry official said the Ministry would not like to interfere in its affairs.

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