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Background

 

CBFC is a content certifying body for moving images.  It functions under M/O Information and Broadcasting, GOI as per the provisions of The Cinematograph Act, 1952 and The Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983.  All films, music videos, documentaries  meant for public exhibition, irrespective of their length, whether in celluloid or video or CD or DVD version are subjected to certification by CBFC. Justification of film certification in India has been upheld even by the highest court of the land.

 

“Film censorship becomes necessary because a film motivates thought and  action and assures a high degree of attention and retention as compared to the printed word. The combination of act and speech, sight and sound in semi darkness of the theatre with elimination of all distracting ideas will have a strong impact on the minds of the viewers and can affect emotions. Therefore, it has as much potential for evil as it has for good  and has an equal potential to instil or cultivate violent or good behaviour. It cannot be equated with other modes of communication. Censorship by prior restraint is, therefore, not only desirable but also necessary''''

 

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 

Legislation

 

The censorship of films is governed by the The Cinematograph Act,1952, the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules promulgated in 1983 and the guidelines issued on December 6, 1991. The guidelines are issued under Section 5B of the Act. This section says that '''' a film shall not be certified for public exhibition, if, in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the film or any part of it is against the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the States, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence.''''

 

Film Classification categories in India

 

U

Unrestricted Public Exhibition

UA

Unrestricted Public Exhibition - but with a word of caution that Parental discretion required for children below 12 years

A

Restricted to adults

s

Restricted to any special class of persons

 

 

CENTRAL BOARD OF FILM CERTIFICATION

The details of Name and Tenure of the Chairperson

 

Sr.

Name of Chairperson

From

To

1.

C.S. AGGARWAL

15-01-1951

14-06-1954

2.

B.D. MIRCHANDANI

15-06-1954

09-06-1955

3

M.D. BHATT

10-06-1955

21-11-1959

4

D.L. KOTHARI

22-11-1959

24-03-1960

5.

B.D. MIRCHANDANI

25-3-1960

01-11-1960

6

D.L. KOTHARI

02-11-1960

22-04-1965

7

B.P. BHATT

23-04-1965

22-04-1968

8

R.P. NAYAK

23-04-1968

15-11-1969

9

M.V. DESAI

12-12-1969

19-10-1970

10

R.  SRINIVASAN

20-10-1970

15-11-1971

11

VIRENDRA VYAS

11-02-1972

30-06-1976

12

K.L. KHANDPUR

01-07-1976

31-01-1981

13

HRISHIKESH MUKHERJEE

01-02-1981

10-08-1982

14

APARNA MOHILE

11-08-1982

14-03-1983

15

SHARAD UPASANI

15-03-1983

09-05-1983

16

SURRESH MATHUR

10-05-1983

07-07-1983

17

VIKRAM SINGH

08-07-1983

19-02-1989

18

MORESHWAR VANMALI

20-02-1989

25-04-1990

19

B.P.SINGHAL

25-04-1990

01-04-1991

20

SHAKTI SAMANTA

01-04-1991

25-06-1998

21

ASHA PAREKH

25-06-1998

25-09-2001

22

VIJAY ANAND

26-09-2001

19-07-2002

23

ARVIND TRIVEDI

20-07-2002

16-10-2003

24

ANUPHAM KHER

16-10-2003

13-10-2004

25

SHARMILA TAGORE

13-10-2004

Till date

 

Important Facts

  • Office of censors –  first in Rome 443B.C.
  • Censure in Latin means ‘to assess or to give one’s opinion’.
  • 28-12-1895-paris-cinema was born.
  • 7-7-1896 - cinema came to India.
  • First show at Watson hotel by  M/S Llumiere Brothers.
  • Cinematograph act, 1909- first in England.
  • Initially done for enforcing fire safety in halls.
  • BBFC was established in 1912.
  • First film produced in India in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke.
  • Film censorship started in other countries like  Norway(1913), Denmark(1914), Sweden(1916)
  • Indian cinematograph bill introduced in 1917 in imperial legislative council.
  • Indian cinematograph act, 1918 became enforceable.
  • All decisions were made non-justifiable.
  • Act finally came into effect on 1-8-1920.
  • Primary targets were sensational movies from the USA.
  • Censor boards were placed under police chiefs in cities of Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Lahore and Rangoon.
  • Regional censors were independent.
  • Later offices opened in up, Punjab, Mysore, Travancore and Cochin.
  • After independence govt. Appointed film enquiry committee under Shri S.K.Patil.
  • From 15-1-1951 autonomy of regional censors abolished.
  • Brought under censor board, Bombay.
  • First amendment of constitution in 1951, brought ‘reasonable restrictions’ in 19(2).  This was done mainly to introduce land reform.
  • The cinematograph act 1952 came into effect from 28-7-1952.
  • Political class was unanimous about cinema as a moral evil.
  • In 1954, 13000 women signed a petition to Nehru to curb evil influence of cinema.
  • Cinematograph(Certification) Rules were revised in 1983.
  • Since 1983, Censor Board became Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC).
  • ‘UA’ and ‘S’ certificate introduced in 1983.
  • Guidelines of film certification revised in 1991.

 

 

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