The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on Wednesday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it would take an undertaking from producers/directors of movies that they won’t release the excised portions of their films to anybody. Assistant solicitor general Chetan Mittal who appeared on behalf of the CBFC told the bench of justice Rajesh Bindal that there was no provision in the Cinematographic Act 1952 to certify content which was posted on the internet, including on websites such as YouTube.
He further said the CBFC did not have any control over any content which was available on net. Mittal submitted that the information and broadcasting ministry had constituted a committee headed by film director Shyam Benegal to evolve broad guidelines under the Cinematographic Act 1952 to deal with it.
“The recommendation of this committee are expected to provide holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view the framework,” Mittal said further adding that as an interim measure the undertakings would be taken from the directors or producers that they would not release the excised portion of the films to anybody.
The submissions were made during the resumed hearing of a petition by a Punjab NGO filed in January seeking ban on alleged vulgar scenes in two Hindi films, ‘Kya Super Kool Hain Hum’ and ‘Mastizaade’. The alleged vulgar scenes were available online, even after the CBFC cuts. The petitioner had also lamented that it was difficult these days to watch TV with kids as promos of these movies were being shown on the television channels as well. Following the petition, the high court had sought details of rules and regulations with regard to removal or restrictions on uploading of excised adult content of movies online and film certification process. The CBFC in its reply also said the telecast of a programme on television channel was governed by the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 and had further stated that the CBFC dealt with films only for public exhibition in theatre or on satellite/ television channels and promos.