Censor Board should not be using scissors on any film: Shyam Benegal panel

New Delhi: A government-constituted panel headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal has recommended that the censor board should categorise rather than "use scissors" to cut films while suggesting new categories classifying movies.

Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal

"We are recommending that CBFC should not be using scissors on any film. We are suggesting that in addition to different classifications that we have - we should have two categories of U/A, one plus 12 years of age and one plus 15 years of age and two categories of adult, one is normal adult and another adult with caution," Benegal told reporters here.

The committee constituted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on January 1 to take a relook at the functioning of the controversy-ridden board, submitted its report to I&B minister Arun Jaitley today.

Apart from Benegal, the panel includes actor Kamal Hassan, filmmaker Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, Piyush Pandey, Goutam Ghose, Bhawana Somaaya and senior officials of the I&B ministry.

The committee, however, suggested that the Central Board of Film Certification can refuse certification if a film contains anything that contravenes the provisions of Section 5B (1) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

As per this section, a film shall not be certified if the competent authority feels that it or a part of it is against the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence.

Another case when the panel has recommended that the CBFC can refuse certification is when the "content in a film crosses the ceiling laid down in the highest category of certification".

As per the recommendations, the filmmaker must specify the category of certification being sought and the target audience.

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