Censor Board's struggle for transparency?
The board has given up control over the order of clearance with filmmakers jumping the queue for certification now needing an NOC from those ahead of them
The latest news is that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) will now entertain out-of-turn certification for films only after the producer gets a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from those ahead of him in the queue.
Regional officer Raj Kumar, who is currently in charge of CBFC’s Mumbai office, says, “We have started this process from September. If a producer wants an early clearance, he will have to get an NOC from those ahead of him in the queue. Earlier, this was left to the discretion of the CEO or the regional officer, but this is no longer the case.”
Kumar adds that they have done this in order to streamline the process and ‘bring transparency to the system’. However, it turns out that of late, no producer has tried to jump the queue. A source says, “In recent times, CBFC has not come across any case where a producer has asked for an out-of-turn clearance.” This source also points out that currently, there is no backlog for theatrical clearance. “Films are being cleared within five to six days, which only goes to show that the whole process is getting streamlined,” says the source.
Kulmeet Makkar, Chief Executive Officer, Film and Television Producers Guild of India, says that acquiring NOCs will be a time-consuming process. “We would prefer simplified procedures for certification rather than additional NOCs. However, I don’t want to prejudge the issue, as we have not yet received any formal communication from CBFC in this regard. It’s important to understand the process in detail,” he says.