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News Hindi

Government abolishes Film Certification Appellate Tribunal by ordinance

Filmmakers and producers will now have to file appeals in high courts to challenge decisions by the Central Board of Film Certification.

Shriram Iyengar

The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has been dissolved via an ordinance by the Union ministry of law and justice. The Union finance ministry, in February, had introduced the Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill 2021 in Lok Sabha. However, the legislation failed to receive Parliament's nod, and the ordinance was notified on Sunday.

Under the ordinance, producers and directors aggrieved by the Central Board of Film Certification's (CBFC) decisions will now have to file an appeal in the high court, rather than the FCAT. Furthermore, all contentions regarding copyright will now be handled by the Commercial Court or the Commercial Division of the high court. 

The FCAT was constituted under section 5D of the Cinematograph Act 1952 by the ministry of information & broadcasting. The tribunal is headed by a chairperson and comprises a four-member committee. One of the key positives of the FCAT was its decision to overturn the censorship of Alankrita Shrivastava's Lipstick Under My Burkha (2018). 

The decision to abolish the tribunal has not gone down well with several filmmakers, including Shrivastava, Hansal Mehta and Vishal Bhardwaj among others, who took to social media to express their consternation. 

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