Chopped scenes of several movies flood Web, censor seeks help

The Asian Age.  | nitin mahajan

India, All India

The CBFC has sought the ministry’s guidance and suitable amendment to the Cinematography Act so that such “mischief” can be plugged.

Pahlaj Nihalani

New Delhi: With chopped scenes from several movies appearing on the Internet and YouTube, the Pahlaj Nihalani-headed censor board has called for an urgent intervention of the Union information and broadcasting ministry for finding a way to stop these leaks.

The Central Board of Film Certification has sought the ministry’s guidance and suitable amendment to the Cinematography Act so that such “mischief” can be plugged.    

Under the current laws, the CBFC doesn’t have any power over stopping chopped scenes, considered unfit for Indian audiences due to vulgarity or nudity or hurting religious sentiments, from appearing on these websites.

Over the recent past there have been several instances wherein chopped or uncleared scenes by the Censor Board from feature films like Udta Punjab, Raaz 3, Jism 2, Ragini MMS and Hate Story 2 have been widely circulated on the Internet.

Senior officials with the Censor Board said there has been a new trend wherein several producers are not taking seeking certification for their films as they do not release them in cinema halls and confine their release to the Internet. In such cases the CBFC finds itself in a helpless position as it does not have any powers to deal with violations of the law. Under the current provisions any violation on the Internet can only be booked under the Information and Technology Act and Indian Penal Code, sources added.

The troubles with the CBFC continue even as the government clears landmark issues like online certification process for films, e-cinepramaan,  which tries to ease the certification process for films.

The Censor Board continues to fan controversies. The I&B ministry appointed Shyam Benegal committee sought curtailment of the CBFC’s power to chop movies and limit its authority as only a film certification body.

The committee was constituted by the ministry last year to have a relook at the functioning of the controversy-ridden board.