Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023

The Union Cabinet recently approved the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023. The proposed legislation seeks to curb the transmission of pirated film content on the internet. The announcement was made by Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, who stated that the bill would be introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament.

Classification System for Films

Currently, films in India are classified into three categories: ‘U’, ‘A’, and ‘UA’. ‘U’ stands for unrestricted public exhibition, ‘A’ is restricted to adult audiences, while ‘UA’ is for unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children below the age of 12. The proposed amendments seek to add new classification – “UA-7+”, “UA-13+” and “UA-16+” in place of 12 years, which will be age-based classifications for films.

Aim of the Amendments

Apart from improving the process of certifying films by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the amendments also aim to bring about uniformity in categorisation of films and content across platforms. They are expected to harmonise the law with executive orders and various Supreme Court judgements, to achieve consistency.

Demands for Amendments

Stakeholders in the film industry have demanded action to curb piracy, age-based film classification and the removal of certain redundant provisions in the existing Act. In 2019, a Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. The new draft was based on consultations with the film industry, incorporating best practices from across the world.



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