Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin today urged Union Minister of Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad to withdraw the proposed amendment to Cinematograph Act, 1952 in view of genuine concerns raised by the film fraternity and various sections of the society across India.
In a Demi-Official letter to Mr Prasad, he also urged him to allow for functional autonomy of the Central Board of Film Certification (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.
He said the draft bill has given rise to serious apprehensions not only in the minds of the film fraternity and film industry, but also among all well-meaning sections of the society that cherish freedom of expression.
Observing that a vibrant democracy must provide adequate space for creative thinking and artistic freedom, Mr Stalin said the proposed amendment to the Cinematograph Act, however, seeks to restrict it by restoring the revisionary powers of the Union Government that was struck down by the Supreme Court two decades ago.
The CBFC accords certification to the films if they meet all the criteria mentioned in the section 5(a) of the Cinematograph Act, which also provides for rejection of certification for a film on certain prescribed valid grounds.
Moreover, adequate provisions for exercising control over the film making is available in the form of guidelines that have been provided under section 5(b) of the Act, he 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, it must be left to the States as the Law and order is a State subject”, he said.