Mumbai: The Bombay high court Wednesday held the decision of the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) — to direct filmmakers submit subtitles of films for review so that no additional words were inserted after due certification of a film – as correct. The high court was hearing a petition filed by the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA), challenging the board's direction to filmmakers to submit subtitles of their films for censorship.
Advait Sethna, CBFC counsel, contended before the high court that the intention of the impugned notice was to ensure that alterations made after certification of a film under the Rules, were duly reported to the board in the form prescribed under the Rules.
It was argued before the division bench of Justice I.A. Mahanty and Justice S.J. Kathawalla that as per Rule 33 of the Cinematography Act, when a film was altered by excision or if subtitles were included after the film had been certified, the same would not be exhibited unless the alteration/s or subtitles included were reported to the CBFC.
It was further stated that in such a case, the board will review the changes or subtitles and endorse the changes on certificate. The petitioner’s lawyer Ashok Sarogi said before the court that IMPPA was ready to comply with this rule. The bench then disposed of the petition, noting that the provisions of the Act will be followed.
The CBFC, in a notice to IMPPA on April 27, 2018, had said that film producers must obtain a separate certificate if subtitles were added after the film got clearance. IMPPA had challenged this notice saying it was time-consuming and delayed a film’s release.