What are the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952?

Part II of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 provides for the certification of films for public exhibition. The relevant provisions are:

  • Section 3 deals with the Board of film censors. It vests the Central Government with the power to constitute the Board of Film Certification vide notification in the Official Gazette consisting of a Chairman and minimum twelve and maximum 25 members, who are appointed by the Central Government. The Central Government decides the allowances and salary to be paid to such members and also prescribe other terms and conditions of service.
  • Section 4 talks of examination of films. Under this, any person willing to exhibit any film has to make an application to the Board of Film Certification for a certificate and the Board after examining the film in a prescribed manner shall give the following sanctions:
  • Film has unrestricted public exhibition
  • Film can be exhibited publicly but only restricted to adults
  • Film can be exhibited only for persons belonging to a particular profession or any class of persons depending on the content and theme of the film
  • Film cannot be allowed for public exhibition
  • Section 5 allows the Central Government to establish advisory panels in every regional centre consisting of persons who have the requisite expertise in judging the effect of films on public,
  • Section 5B provides that a film shall not be certified for public exhibition if it is against the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, friendly relations to foreign countries, public order, decency or morality or containing defamatory material.
  • Under Section 5 D an Appellate Tribunal is constituted to which an appeal against the decision of the Board lies.
  • Section 7 provides for the penalties for contravention of this Part which is a three year imprisonment or fine upto one lakh rupees or both.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been granted powers to make rules with respect to any of the matters mentioned in the provision under Section 8 of the Act.

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