'Law and order' not enough for states to ban a movie: Panel

FP Staff

Oct 10, 2013 15:27:51 IST

In another move to stop the arbitrary banning and censorship of movies in India, an empowered committee headed  by Justice Mukul Mudgal, former chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court, has suggested that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal(FCAT) be strengthened to act as a grievance redress mechanism.

Law and order not enough for states to ban a movie: Panel

A protest against Vishwaroopam. PTI image

They have also recommended that states should not be allowed to invoke "law and order" as a reason to stop the screening of motion pictures and instead appeal to this tribunal.

The news, which was reported in the Times of India today, said that the panel has argued that certifying films and approving them for audiences must be the primary responsibility of the  Cinematograph Act.

This movement towards standardising the response to  movie which is found 'objectionable' began in the aftermath of the release of Kamal Hasan's Vishwaroopam, which received a lot of opposition from some communities. In that case, law and order concerns were cited by the government to stop the release of the movie.

According to the Times of India report, the panel also addressed the criticism that members on advisory panels of the Central Board of Film Certification are "ill-qualified....(and are) political appointees."

"The panel has recommended that censor board members should have some expertise in the arts, culture or any other professional field," said the Times of India report.

Updated Date: Oct 10, 2013 15:27:52 IST