Can third party appeal against film certificate: HC asks CBFC

New Delhi: Delhi High Court today said there appeared to be no provision in the Cinematography Act to allow a third party to appeal against the certification granted to a film for public viewing, which led to petitions being filed against release of movies.

“Even we also find that the Act is silent on this aspect. Because of this, everyone is filing a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution,” Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said.

The court issued notice to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and sought their reply on whether there was a provision in the Act for a third party to appeal against the certification granted to a movie.

CBFC, during the brief arguments, said under rules, there was a provision as per which a third party can approach the Board and file a complaint against certification granted to a film. The complaint is then forwarded to the government, the CBFC‘s lawyer said.

The court, thereafter, directed CBFC to file an affidavit regarding the position on third party appeals and listed the matter for hearing on January 9, 2017.

The order came on a PIL opposing the release of Bollywood movie ’31st October’ which is based on the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi, including the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984.

The plea has also sought a direction to the authorities to enlarge the scope of the appellate tribunal to entertain complaints by third parties with respect to a film which has been certified for public viewing.

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