Bombay High Court seeks response from CBFC on IMPPA’s petition over film subtitles

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As per reports, the Bombay High Court on July 27, asked the CBFC to file an affidavit in response to a plea filed by the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA), challenging CBFC’s direction to submit subtitles of movies for censorship.

IMPPA has filed a writ petition in Bombay High Court challenging the CBFC direction as arbitrary.

On April 27, IMPPA received a notice from the CBFC, which said the producers of a film are required to obtain a separate 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.

A division bench, headed by Justice R M Borde, directed CBFC 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.

As previously reported here, the April 27 CBFC notice reads – “It has been recently observed that a number of films are screened before CBFC and subsequently certified without any sub-titles. However, after certification, some of the films are found to be exhibited with sub-titles without even seeking endorsement of CBFC under Rule 33. As per Rule 22(3) of the (Cinematograph) Rules 1983, only the final version of the film is to be shown to the Examining Committee for certification purposes. It is therefore directed that all the applicants must submit an undertaking along with the application clearly stating that -a) subtitles are included or b) subsequently no subtitles will be added once the film is certified by the CBFC

It was reported earlier this week that several Bengali film producers were alleging differential treatment between Tollywood and Bollywood as the recently released film ‘Sanju’ has been given certificate that mentions it is a subtitled version but is running in theatres without sub-titles. The reports state that the release of several Tollywood films is getting affected due to this CBFC notice.

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