The Kerala High Court has set aside the decision of the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to refer a movie based on Malabar Rebellion of 1921, to a second Revising Committee and said it was ”illegal”.
Justice N Nagaresh, while considering the writ petition filed by the director and the producer of the movie, Ali Akbar who also goes by the name Ramasimhan, said referring the movie ‘Puzha Muthal Puzha Vare’ to a second revising committee was in violation of the Cinematograph Act.
The court said that if the Chairman disagrees with the decision of the majority of the Revising Committee, then it is only the Board which can either itself examine the film or cause the film to be examined again by another Revising Committee.
”In this case, the Chairman himself has referred the film to a second Revising Committee on 18.06.2022. The said action of the Chairman is illegal and is in violation of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983. …orders are therefore set aside,” the high court said in its December 19 order, said.
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The director/producer had on May 17, 2022 submitted before the CBFC for certification of the movie.
The court in its order noted that the Regional Officer of CBFC constituted an Examination Committee for the Film and after examining the movie, submitted its recommendations on June 25, 2022. Ramasimhan submitted before the court that the Chairman of CBFC referred the movie to a Revising Committee which examined the movie on August 5, 2022 and summoned him to discuss various aspects of the movie. ”The 10-Member Revising Committee, by a majority decision (7/10), decided to issue ‘A’ certification to the movie with a few cuts,” the director had said.
However, instead of placing the recommendation of the Revising Committee before the CBFC, the chairman again referred the Film to a second Revising Committee. The high court accepted the contention of the director that the decision of the chairman to refer the Film to a second Revising Committee was ”highly illegal and arbitrary.” ”The proviso…is clear that where the Chairman disagrees with the decision of the majority of the Revising Committee, then it is only the Board which can either itself examine the film or cause the film to be examined again by another Revising Committee,” the court said in its order.