2. WHAT IS CENSORSHIP
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or
other information which may be considered objectionable,
harmful, sensitive and politically incorrect or inconvenient as
determined by the Government, media outlets, authorities or
other groups or institutions.
Film Censorship is the process of previewing a film and it
includes a decision either not to allow it for public viewing or to
allow it for public viewing with certain modification.
The Supreme Court has held that film censorship becomes
necessary because it motivates thought and action and assures a
high degree of attention or retention as compared to the printed
3. FILM CENSORSHIP IN INDIA
The present censorship of films is
governed by the Cinematograph Act 1952,
the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules
promulgated in 1983 and the guidelines
issued from time to time, the latest having
been issued on December 1991.
The guidelines are issued under Section 5B
of the Act which says that a film shall not
be certified for public exhibition, if the
film or any part of it is against the
interests of integrity and sovereignty of
India, 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.
4. WHO DOES FILM CENSORSHIP
The Central Board of film certification was set up in Mumbai,
intially with three regional offices at Mumbai, Chennai and
Calcutta. At present it has nine regional offices in India.
The Board consist of a Chairperson and not less than twelve and
not more than twenty five other members appointed by the
Then there is a Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT)
which has been constituted under Section 5D of the Act.
The Certification rules also apply to foreign films imported in
India or dubbed films.
6. GUIDELINES ISSUED BY THE CENTRAL
The objective of film certification will be to that:
The medium of the film remains responsible.
Artistic expressions and creative freedom should be respected.
Human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity or obscenity.
Scenes degrading women in any manner are not presented.
Visuals or words disrespectful of social, religious or other
institutions are not presented.
7. • Visuals or words of defamation of any individual or group of
individual and contempt of court are not presented.
At the same time the Board of Film Certification shall also ensure
• Is judged in the entirety from the point of view of its over all
• In the light of the period depicted in the film and the
contemporary standards of the country.
8. CASES RELATING TO PRE
In K.A Abbas vs Union of India, the Court held that pre
censorship is valid in the context and an exception to
the right to freedom of speech and expression has
been provided under Article 19(2).
In S. Rangarajan vs P. Jagjivan Ram, the Court held
that “Movie motivates thought and action and assures
a higher degree of attention and retention. It makes it
impact simultaneously arousing visual and aural
9. FILM POSTERS
The 1952 Act does not cover posters or
film advertisements and these comes
under common law of the land relating
to obscenity, particularly section 292 of
the Indian Penal Code.
The Indecent Representation of Women
(Prohibition) Act, 1986.
The West Bengal Government have
enacted the “ West Bengal (Compulsory
Censorship of Film Publicity Materials)
Act 1974 to deal with obscene and
10. PROBLEM FOR CERTIFICATION
OF CERTAIN MOVIES
Final Solution: the Central Board of film
Certification said the documentary was “highly
proactive and may trigger off unrest and
In 2002 the film War and Peace focusing on
the dangers of the nuclear war on the Indian
Sub continent, was asked to make 21 cuts
before it was allowed to be certified for release.
11. Water: A film about Hindu’s treatment of
widows was under attack by Hindu nationalist in
the Indian Holy city of Varanasi. Water shows
abandoned widows living in extreme poverty,
some of whom are forced into prostitution by
Powerful Hindu Priest who run homes for
widows at holy Hindu sites.
Madras Cafe: This movie depicts the events
leading up to the assassination in 1991 of
former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. In the
southern state of Tamil Nadu, protests were
made from several Tamil groups. The protests
virtually ensured that the film was not released
in the state.
12. Chand Bhuj Gaya: The Censor Board
refused to certify this movie because it is
full of brutal visuals of violence and that
certain characters have definite
resemblance to real life personalities and it
was still alive issue by then, thus inciting
communal violence. The Bombay High
Court reversed the decision of the CBFC in
the case of F A International vs CBFC and
held that films which deals with
controversial issues have to portray what is
13. CENSORSHIP OF FILMS IN
In USA cinema enjoys first amendment protection. The
only form of control in the United States is a voluntary
classification system operated by the film industry
In UK, there is a system of censorship under which
legal decisions are taken under the statute namely the
Cinema’s Act by the local authority but in practice by
the informally constituted BBFC.
There is lack of transparency under the Act itself.
The total discretion is in the hands of the Central Government.
Most of the time movies are not judged on the matter of contents
but on the political influences or the factors which would be
affecting the ruling party at the Centre.
There is Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2010 which still
Now a days censorship has been used to prohibit those films
which really holds the real picture of the society.