Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021
The new proposal would amend the Cinematograph Act of 1952 to grant the Centre "revisionary powers" and allow it to "re-examine" films that have already been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
By: Kashyap Partners & Associates LLP
The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 proposed the following provisions:
Revision of Certificate.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting recommends amending the Act to provide the Centre the revisionary powers in cases where Section 5B(1) is violated i.e the principles for guidance in certifying films. Nevertheless, Section 6 of the existing Act already empowers the Centre to request records of proceedings in connection with a film's certification. The proposed amendment, according to the Ministry, "means that the Central Government, if the circumstances so warrant, has the ability to revoke the Board's decision."
In November 2020, the Supreme Court observed that the Centre cannot use its revisionary powers on films that have already been granted a certificate by the CBFC. However, the new proposal allows for government intervention. "... It is also proposed in the Draft Bill to add a proviso to sub-section (1) of section 6 to the effect that, upon receipt of any references by the Central Government in respect of a film certified for public exhibition on account of a violation of Section 5B (1) of the Act, the Central Government may, if it considers it necessary, direct the Chairman of the Board to re-examine the film,"
According to the Ministry, The Cinematograph Act, 1952, does not currently contain any enabling measures to combat film piracy. The proposal seeks to introduce Section 6AA, which will make it illegal to record without permission. "Notwithstanding any law in force, no person shall be permitted to use any audio-visual recording device in a place to knowingly make or transmit or attempt to make or transmit or abet the making or transmission of a copy of a film or a part thereof without the written authorization of the author," according to the proposed section. It also included that the violations should be punished by imprisonment for a period of "not less than three months but not more than three years" and a fine of "not less than Rs 3 lakh but not more than 5% of the audited total production cost or both."
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