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Censor Board set for revamp; Jaitley wants it controversy-free

Arun Jaitley  63rd birthday at Lodhi Garden

New Delhi : The controversy-ridden Censor Board appears set for a revamp with Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley saying today that the “time has come” to have a re-look at its functioning.

Stating that he would like the Certification Board to be “controversy-free”, the Union Minister said he is discussing the matter with some experts as to what should be the future role of this body.

“I do believe that time has come to have a look at the role of the Certification Board, as I prefer to call it. The Certification Board needs to be controversy-free,” Jaitley told PTI in an interview here.

“I have some views on it and I am already discussing with some experts as to what the future role of this body should be,” he said.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which is commonly referred to as the Censor Board, is a statutory censorship and classification body under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and is mandated to regulate the public exhibition of films under the Cinematograph Act 1952.

The current Board, headed by Pahalaj Nihalani, has got mired in controversies on numerous occasions in the recent past including because of the decisions taken by him that were opposed among others by several Board members themselves.

When asked whether he was unhappy with what the present Chairman of the Board has been doing, Jaitley did not give any direct reply and said, “Well, I would like the Certification Board to be controversy-free.”

The Board consists of non-official members and a Chairman, all of whom are appointed by the Central Government.

While several filmmakers have complained of arbitrary objections and cuts sought by the Board in the recent past, it had got into a controversy at the very beginning of this year when the then Chairperson Leela Samson quit along with 13 board members while accusing the government of treating them in a “cavalier and dismissive manner”.

Samson was replaced by film producer Nihalani, who has since been embroiled in one after another controversies including for the cuts the latest James Bond movie ‘Spectre’ had to go through for its screening in India.

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