Amol Palekar petition against pre-censorship: SC sought response from Centre
Veteran actor Amol Palekar has challenged censonship laws in Supreme court. The Supreme Court, on Monday, agreed to examine the issue and sought response from the Centre and CBFC on a plea challenging pre-censorship of film by the Censor Board.
Mr Palekar in his petition has urged that when content on television and internet is free of censorship then why is the same content is being altered, cut or deleted before being shown in a cinema hall is "an attack on our right to equality."
“In the light of the new technologies and developments, considering the paradigm shift in the mass media, it’s the need of this hour that we redefine, reclaim and resurrect contours of our individual freedoms,” said Palekar.
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to respond to Palekar’s petition. CBFC Chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani said, “The
Cinematograph Act does not require any changes as such. In various countries across the world, the certification bodies follow a rating system which have around six to seven ratings, whereas in India we have only three ratings — A, U and A/U. Due to this rating system, many a times, it is not possible to give certificate to some films without any cuts. We have suggested the same to the I&B Ministry as well. Once the new rating system comes into force, all the issues will be taken care of and there will not be any requirement of changing the certification rules of the Cinematograph Act.”
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan decided to hear a PIL filed by veteran actor and director Amol Palekar, challenging the constitutional validity of Section 4(1)(iii) of the Cinematography Act, 1952, which empowers the Board to direct film-makers "to carry out such modifications in the film, as it thinks necessary before sanctioning the film for public exhibition".
"There is no provision akin to Section 4(1)(iii) which is applicable to TV or to the videos available on the digital medium. There is not much distinction between TV and cinema," the film maker said.The petition stated that the differential treatment would be violative of Article 14 of the Constitution which says equality before law.