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Stalin urges Centre to withdraw draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill amid concerns in film industry

Highlighting the expected impact of the bill, he said that a vibrant democracy must provide adequate space for creative thinking and artistic freedom

Published: 06th July 2021 01:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2021 01:55 PM   |  A+A-

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday wrote a letter to Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communication, Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad urging him to withdraw the proposed draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 following apprehensions raised by the Tamil film industry.

In his letter, Stalin said, “The draft bill has given rise to serious apprehensions not only in the minds of the film fraternity and film industry but also among all well-meaning sections of society that cherish freedom of expression.”

Highlighting the expected impact of the bill, he said that a vibrant democracy must provide adequate space for creative thinking and artistic freedom. However, the proposed amendment to the Cinematograph Act seeks to restrict it by restoring the revisionary powers of the Union government that were struck down by the Supreme Court two decades ago.

ALSO READ: Cinematograph Bill hits freedom of expression: Suriya

Stalin said that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) accords certification to films if they meet all the criteria mentioned in section 5(a) of the Cinematograph Act. The Act also provides for rejection of certification for a film on certain prescribed valid grounds. Moreover, adequate provisions for exercising control over filmmaking are available in the form of guidelines that have been provided under section 5(b) of the Act.

Elaborating on the new powers given to the Union government in the proposed bill, he said that if a film is certified for public viewing by the CBFC, it falls within the domain of the state governments first and hence, it must be left to the states as law and order is a state subject. But now, the Union government, by the proposed Act, is trying to go against the spirit of cooperative federalism and transgress the powers of the state governments and its own CBFC. Incidentally, as a prelude to this amendment, the Film Certification Appellate Board which was functioning as an appellate body against the CBFC was dismantled.
   
Considering the concerns raised by the film fraternity and various sections of society across India, he urged the government to withdraw the proposed amendment to the Cinematograph Act 1952 and also allow functional autonomy of the CBFC to remain a progressive nation where creative thinking, including art, culture and filmmaking, can blossom without fear or favour.



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  • Deena Dayalan

    Mr. Stalin (State Govt) is absolutely right. Why have Censor Board which operates under the guide lines of Laws and policies if Centre should have the ultimate or veto power? Cinema and TV are very powerful media which reaches masses. Through this lot of reforms, educating public, etc. could be achieved. Granted, there could be negative effects, this is where State power comes into picture not to allow the adverse impacts on the public. India has vast diverse society and it needs lot of reforms.
    2 months ago reply
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