New Delhi: The controversy-ridden Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) appears set for a revamp with information and broadcasting minister Arun Jaitley saying on Monday that the “time has come” to have a re-look at its functioning.
Stating that he would like the CBFC to be “controversy-free”, the Union minister said he is discussing the matter with some experts as to what should be the future role of this body.
“I do believe that time has come to have a look at the role of the certification board, as I prefer to call it. The certification board needs to be controversy-free,” Jaitley said. “I have some views on it and I am already discussing with some experts as to what the future role of this body should be,” he said.
The CBFC, commonly referred to as the Censor Board, is a statutory censorship and classification body under the information and broadcasting ministry and is mandated to regulate the public exhibition of films under the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
At present, the CBFC is headed by Pahalaj Nihalani, who got mired in controversies in the recent past. Other members of the Censor Board themselves had opposed some decisions taken by him.
On whether he was unhappy with what the incumbent CBFC chairman has been doing, Jaitley did not give any direct reply. “Well, I would like the certification board to be controversy-free,” he said.
The CBFC consists of non-official members and a chairman, all of whom are appointed by the central government. While several film-makers have complained of arbitrary objections and cuts sought by the Censor Board in the recent past, it got into a controversy at the beginning of 2015 when the then chairperson Leela Samson quit along with 13 board members, while accusing the government of treating them in a “cavalier and dismissive manner”.
Samson was replaced by film producer Nihalani, who has since been embroiled in one after another controversies including for the cuts the latest James Bond movie Spectre had to go through for its screening in India.