The Bombay High Court asked the CBFC to file an affidavit in response to a plea filed by the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA), challenging the former’s direction to submit subtitles of movies for censorship.
The IMPAA had approached the high court earlier this month claiming that the new rule introduced by the Central Film Certification Board (CBFC) was arbitrary.
On April 27, the association received a notice from the CBFC, which said the producers of a film are required to obtain a separate censorship certificate for the film’s subtitles.
“As per the notice, the producers have to first obtain a certificate for the movie and thereafter when subtitling is done by any producer in a different language, they are also required to obtain fresh censorship from the CBFC,” the petition said.
According to the petition, earlier certification was required only for the movie from the CBFC and there was no requirement or practice of certification for the subtitles.
CBFC lawyer Advait Sethna told the court that the direction to seek separate certification for subtitles was to ensure that the producers do not add or alter the same after getting censorship certificate for the movie.
A division bench, headed by Justice R M Borde, directed Sethna to file an affidavit responding to the petition within two weeks.
The petition claims that the programmes, which are freely available on the internet and other electronic media, do not require any such certification or censorship from any of the authorities.
The petitioner association alleged that this move by the CBFC was only to harass producers and extort more money from them. It added that such a rule was also resulting in the films’ release being delayed.
The petition has sought the high court to quash this procedure.