The Ministry of Law and Justice has dissolved the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), a statutory body that hears appeals of filmmakers distressed by Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decisions. The ministry stated in an official notice that the move will take immediate effect.
Now, with FCAT dissolved, filmmakers will have to take any disagreement with CBFC to court. This move has come as a shock to filmmakers, who have criticised the ministry’s decision on social media.
Hansal Mehta came down heavily on the move. He wrote on Twitter, “Do the high courts have a lot of time to address film certification grievances? How many film producers will have the means to approach the courts? The FCAT discontinuation feels arbitrary and is definitely restrictive.
Why this unfortunate timing? Why take this decision at all? (sic)”Similarly, filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj called it ‘such a sad day for cinema’.Over the years, many films like Lipstick Under My Burkha, Udta Punjab, and Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, which were denied certification by CBFC, finally saw the light of the day because of FCAT.