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Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani new Censor Board chief

Pahlaj Nihalani

New Delhi: Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani was today appointed chairperson of the Censor Board, days after Leela Samson resigned as its chief alleging interference by the government in its matters.

The government also reconstituted the board appointing nine others as members including BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo and filmmakers Ashoke Pandit and Chandra Prakash Dwivedi.

An official statement said that Nihalani was appointed as chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in an honorary capacity for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Other eminent persons who have been named as members are film writer Mihir Bhuta, Syed Abdul Bari, Ramesh Patange, actor George Baker, actor-filmmaker Jeevitha and actor- playwright S Ve Shekhar.

Nihalani, elder brother of renowned director Govind Nihalani, has produced films like “Aankhen”, “Talaash: The Hunt Begins…” and “Shola Aur Shabnam”.

After Samson resigned last week, all members of the CBFC had also put in their papers.

The government had strongly rebutted the charges levelled by Samson with I&B minister Arun Jaitley asserting that it maintains an arm’s length distance from the film certification process.

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