The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that the censor board shall follow the existing law which requires it to review a film if subtitles have been added or any changes made after the film is certified.
A division bench of justices I A Mahanty and S J Kathawalla noted the board's statement that producers do not need to obtain a fresh certificate. The court was hearing a petition filed by Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), challenging a notice by the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), directing producers to submit subtitles for a freshcertification.
The CBFC, in a notice to IMPPA on April 27, 2018, had said that film producers must obtain a separate certificate if subtitles have been added after the film got the clearance.
"As per the notice, the producers have to first obtain certificate for the movie and thereafter when sub-titling is done in a different language, they are also required to obtain fresh censorship certificate," the petition said. IMPPA's lawyer Ashok Sarogi argued on Wednesday that this is time-consuming and delays a film's release. The CBFC, in an affidavit, said the notice was issued only by way of caution.
It was incorrect to say that producers have to obtain a separate certificate, it said. "As per Rule 33 of the Cinematography Act, when a film is altered by excision or if subtitles have been included after the film has been certified then the same shall not be exhibited unless the alteration or subtitles included are reported to the CBFC," the censor board said.
In such a case, the board shall review the changes or subtitles and endorse the changes on the certificate, it said. Sarogi said IMPAA was ready to comply with this rule. The bench then disposed of the petition, noting that provisions of the Act shall be followed.