Cinematograph Act: I&B Ministry sets up panel for review
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In the wake of the Tamil Nadu government banning Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam — a movie duly cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification — the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Thursday decided to have a "relook" at the Cinematograph Act to strengthen the law to ensure that screening of movies cleared by the CBFC does not get disrupted.
I&B Minister Manish Tewari announced setting up of a committee to re-examine the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and sources said on the anvil could be expansion of the ambit of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal to allow state governments, individuals and organisations to approach it with objections regarding certification. Currently, only those who apply for a certificate and is aggrieved by the decision of the CBFC can approach it.
The trigger for the decision to have a re-look at the Act may be the Vishwaroopam controversy although the ministry had been concerned about states banning screening of movies overlooking CBFC certification.
Tiwari said according to the Constitutional scheme, the Centre has powers to certify a film to be either fit or unfit for exhibition through the CBFC. "Film certification powers are within the exclusive domain of the Central government in terms of the constitutional scheme," he said.