Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (File Photo)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (File Photo)

MK Stalin urges Law Ministry to withdraw draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill

ANI | Updated: Jul 06, 2021 15:14 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], July 6 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Tuesday wrote to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology urging to withdraw the proposed Amendment to Cinematograph Act 1952 and allow for functional autonomy of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
In the letter, Stalin said the members of the film industry in Tamil Nadu have apprehensions about the proposed Draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 adding, "I urge you to withdraw the proposed Amendment to Cinematograph Act 1952 and also allow for functional autonomy of the CBFC, so that we remain as a progressive nation, and where creative thinking, that includes art, culture and film making, blossom without fear or favour."
"...a vibrant democracy must provide adequate space for creative thinking and artistic freedom. However, the proposed amendment to the Cinematograph Act seeks to restrict it by restoring the revisionary powers of the Union government that was struck down by the Supreme Court two decades ago," said the Tamil Nadu CM.

Stalin noted that adequate provisions for exercising control over film making is available in the form of guidelines that have been provided under section 5(b) of the Cinematograph Act and said "given all these, it is considered as excessive to add more laws and acts to throttle the freedom of a creative form in the 21st century."
Following the prescribed guidelines and procedures, if a film is certified for public viewing by the CBFC, it falls within the domain of the State Governments first and hence, noted the Chief Minister adding, "it must be left to the States as the Law and order is a State subject."
"But now, the Union Government, by the proposed Act tries to go against the spirit of cooperative federalism and transgress the powers of the State Governments and its own Central Board of Film Certification. Incidentally, as a prelude to this amendment, the Film Certification Appellate Board which was functioning as an appellate body against the CBFC was dismantled," he noted.
Stalin further pointed out that there are certain provisions which have practical difficulties in the implementation like the "age-wise grouping of the certification under three categories and certain amendments that makes the film making a very risky and uncertain industry like the provision enabling the Union Government to direct the Chairman of the CBFC to re-examine a film after certification." (ANI)