Centre wants stronger censor board regulatory framework

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Against the backdrop of the controversy over Kamal Haasan's film "Vishwaroopam", the central government Thursday said it will form a committee for a "re-look" into the Cinematographic Act to make the censor board's regulatory framework more robust.

"Certain issues have come up as a result of certain decisions which have been taken in the past by certain state governments so it was felt that maybe a time has come to have a re-look at the Cinematographic Act and that is why I have suggested to the secretary, Information and Broadcasting to form a committee to go into the matter in a holistic manner," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters here.

He said that under the constitution, the centre has been vested with powers to certify whether a film was fit for viewing or not. "The central government exercises those powers through the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)."

"When the CBFC comes to a certain conclusion, it is expected that the state governments would implement that decision because this is something which falls under the centre's jurisdiction," he said.

"If the states are to raise concerns... which have an effect on the decision of the CBFC then I think there is a need to revisit the Cinematographic Act," he added.

Tewari said the committee would see whether there was a need to make the statutory architecture or the regulatory framework of CBFC more robust.

"Once a decision is taken then that decision should be implemented. If at all the state government has a difficulty with it then they should have avenues available under the act to see that this grievance is redressed," he said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said Thursday that Kamal Haasan's movie "Vishwaroopam" was banned in Tamil Nadu due to fears of violent protests and not because she had a grudge against the actor.

The chief minister also announced that she would file cases against DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and sections of the media that maligned her on the issue.

Jayalalithaa said it would have been near impossible to provide security to all the 524 cinema theatres in Tamil Nadu where the multilingual film was to be released after Muslim groups announced a string of protests.

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