Government steps in to resolve row over adult films on television

By Kartikeya Sharma

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Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi in 'The dirty picture'

Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi in 'The dirty picture'

Puritans may have baulked at The Dirty Picture allowed on prime time television, but it seems the government is not against a complete gag on films with adult content on the tube.

With a war brewing between the film fraternity and the censor board on the issue, the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has stepped in.

In a bid to streamline the telecast of films with adult content on TV, it has decided to examine the possibility of making rules to allow the screening of such movies, after suitable modification, in the post-11 pm time slot.

It has sought opinion from the law ministry on whether it's entitled to amend rules to facilitate this.

Otherwise, the Act would have to be amended for the purpose, in which case the matter will have to be dealt with in Parliament. I&B minister Ambika Soni held a meeting with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) or the censor board, headed by Leela Samson on Monday.

The meeting came in the wake of the CBFC's decision to stop re-certifying Arated films for TV citing provisions of the Indian Cinematograph Act, 1952, thereby making them ineligible for telecast. Filmmakers are up in arms against the decision, since a huge chunk of a movie's gross earnings comes from satellite rights.

The meeting concluded that the censor board will take up the issue with the Broadcast Content Complaint Council to look at possible solutions of the vexed issue.

However, the ministry requested the CBFC to start accepting A-rated (adults only) films for re-certification for TV till the final settlement.

The CBFC has been re-certifying A-rated films after they are modified and made suitable for TV viewing. But a controversy erupted earlier this year when The Dirty Picture was re-certified as U/A (under parental guidance).

A case filed to stop its telecast. So, the censor board decided that all A-rated films re-certified as U/A would be shown only after 11 pm.

However, the makers of the film Jannat 2 refused to accept the 11 pm time slot and challenged the CBFC's guideline.


 

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