Censor Board chief accused of flouting norms with clandestine screening of 'Bombay Velvet'; I&B ministry’s intervention sought
Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani finds himself in hot waters yet again for alleged violation of norms related to film screenings. Nandini Sardesai, a senior member of the board's revising committee (RC), has written to the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry accusing Nihalani of keeping them in the dark about Bombay Velvet's screening while chairing it personally.
The Board’s examining committee had initially seen the film and suggested a few cuts. The makers then appealed for a revision and the screening was allegedly not conducted as per rules.
In a series of e-mails written to the Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore, a copy of which is with mid-day, Sardesai states that she had informed Nihalani thrice about her availability to be part of the screening, but was not called. She later found out that the revision preview was attended by the examining committee members all over again and not those from the RC — which includes her, Ashoke Pandit, Chandraprakash Dwivedi, Mihir Bhuta and a few others.
Expressing her grouse, Sardesai tells hitlist, “The chairperson comes into the picture only when there is a disagreement among the RC members. But all rules are being bypassed here. The same set of members of the examining committee along with Nihalani sit for revision screenings. The minister had clearly said the last time that the CBFC is a body where decisions and policy are framed together, not an institution to be governed by one person.”
Meanwhile, Nihalani did not respond to our calls or text messages.