NEW DELHI: Despite objections from Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani, Bollywood actress Sunny Leone-starrer Mastizaade will soon be released on TV. “The sex-comedy film, which was given an ‘A’ (for adults only) certificate for theatrical release, was recently cleared by the censor board for TV viewing by circumventing the laid down rules,” sources said.
A film’s TV telecast is governed by the Indian Cinematograph Act, 1952, and Indian Cable Television Act, which state that only those films with a ‘U’ certificate (for public viewing) and ‘U/A’ (viewing under parental guidance) can be telecast on TV channels. However, to circumvent the rules, producers approach the censor board seeking re-certification of ‘A’ films for TV release. Sources said the re-certification is nowhere mentioned in the original Cinematograph Act but is executed through an administrative order of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
“The argument for issuing an administrative order to facilitate producers was that a huge amount of money is invested in films, which can become profitable only after a theatrical release as well as by selling satellite rights. With the administrative order, film producers can delete some objectionable scenes and resubmit the film for re-certification. So the same film is certified twice, which finds no mention in the Act,” a source said.
It is learnt that Mastizaade’s producer had told the censor board that they can cut as many scenes as required, but the film should be re-certified. This re-certification is only for TV telecast after the censor board gives it a ‘U/UA’ certificate.
According to sources, this trend of ‘backdoor entry’ to get re-certification for adult films always existed, but a controversy erupted after Nihalani wrote to the ministry requesting that ‘A’ films should not be re-certified as it is against the rules. Sources said that the ministry rejected Nihalani’s request as it doesn’t want to agitate film producers.
Last year, the (CAG) questioned re-certification of 172 adult films between October 2012 and March 2015.