Filmmakers and producers will now have to file appeals in high courts to challenge decisions by the Central Board of Film Certification.
Government abolishes Film Certification Appellate Tribunal by ordinance
Mumbai - 07 Apr 2021 14:52 IST
Updated : 20:53 IST
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.
Such a sad day for cinema— Vishal Bhardwaj (@VishalBhardwaj) April 6, 2021
FILM CERTIFICATION APPELLATE TRIBUNAL ABOLISHED | 6 April, 2021
The sheer suddenness of the move, the unexpected nature of the move, the unpredictability of the move...https://t.co/aZMAWzAV2l— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) April 7, 2021
Do the high courts have a lot of time to address film certification grievances? How many film producers will have the means to approach the courts? The FCAT discontinuation feels arbitrary and is definitely restrictive. Why this unfortunate timing? Why take this decision at all?— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) April 7, 2021