The resolution of the controversy surrounding the film Padmavati has[i], for the time being been put, the Censor Board Chairman, Prasoon Joshi in the spotlight. What probably makes it perplexing for Prasoon is the feeling both from the Bhansali camp and those opposing the movie, is that he is on their side. What must be going on in the minds of those deciding the fate of the movie and consequently India’s law and order scenario? Before we try to delve into the minds of the Censor Board, here is a brief look at water which has already flown under the bridge:
।CENSOR BOARD RULES : APPARENT VIOLATIONS BY THE TEAM ASSOCIATED WITH THE FILM PADMAVATI।
It’s not for us to pass judgement,but worthwhile to examine the rules and try to understand their extent of compliance. The Censor Board should ideally rely on 2 documents – The Cinematograph Act of 1952 and the Cinematograph Certification Rules of 1983.
The clauses of these acts which the Director/ Producer of Padamvati film has already apparently violated are :
- Advertisement of the movie without CBFC certificate:
“According to Rule 38[ii] (CBFC) of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983 any person advertising a film by means of insertion in newspapers, hoarding, posters, handbills ortrailers shall indicate the category of certification. Non- compliance of this rule will be a cognizable and non-bail able offence under section 7 of Cinematograph Act 1952”
We see so many YouTube trailers of Padmavati which are in violation of this rule, i.e. advertising without indicating the category of certification. Although to be fair, such promotional trailers have been released for several(almost all?) movies. But the Government could do well to either amend the rule or penalize the producers/ directors in accordance with the law.
Exhibition of Films without CBFC Certificate:
Rule (relevant extract):
“The following are the major violations that agitate the minds of the public:
- exhibition of a film in a form other than the one in which it was certified. Such violations are known as interpolations.
Interpolations can be described as follows..
..vi.exhibition of films without CBFC certificate.”
Bhansali and company appear to be in violation of exhibiting the film to certain sections of the media without CBFC certificate. The penalty of such violations are mentioned hereunder :
Violations of Cinematograph act and penalties:
“1.Offences with regard to violations of certification provisions are cognizable. Furthermore, they are non-bailable.
…3.A person guilty of violation while exhibiting celluloid films is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to Three years, or with fine which may extend to Rs.1/-lakh, or with both, and with a further fine up to Rs.20,000 for each day for a continuing offence.
Furthermore, the trial court can direct that the offending film be forfeited to the Government.”
- The place where the movie is exhibited also needs to be licenced
The Cinematograph Act of 1952, Part III, mentions that the “Cinematograph exhibitions to be licenced.” Elaborating this in clause 10 it is clearly mentioned that “no person shall give an exhibition by means of a cinematograph[iii] elsewhere than in a place licenced under this Part or otherwise than in compliance with any conditions and restrictions imposed by such licence.”
So one wonders where Arnab Goswami, Zaka Jacob and Rajat Sharma went to watch the movie.
To answer the question as to why Bhansali hasn’t been arrested already, the Censor board relies on the State Government and Union Territory Administrations for theenforcement[iv] of such rules, since exhibition of films is a State subject.
Why have the State Governments not initiated action against those responsible for screening an uncertified movie?