On Friday, Bombay High Court slammed Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for refusing to issue a U certificate to a children’s film. The film Chidiakhana tells the story of a boy from Bihar, who moves to Mumbai to pursue his dream of playing football. HC said that CBFC has no intellectual or moral authority to decide what people can see and listen.
A bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was irked at the CBFC for granting a U/A (universal/adult) certificate to the film, which looks at child labour.
Justice Patel said, “Are you (CBFC) ostriches? Put your head in the sand and pretend something does not exist.” When CBFC said, ‘they have laid down certain conditions and if those are fulfilled then the film will be given 'U/A' certificate,’ it Irked the high court and asked how can the board say that it will give 'U/A' certificate irrespective of whether the scene and abusive word is deleted,’ reports PTI.
Justice Patel then said, "We actually wonder if the CBFC officials have children of their own. You (CBFC) are a certification board and not a censor board. You will not decide what one wants to watch and see. Nobody has given you the intellectual morality and authority to decide what one wants to watch and see. Looks like we may have to redefine your role entirely because you are forming an opinion that the whole population is infantile and imbecile and you are the only one with an iota of intelligence to decide for everyone." The judges further noted, “if a film meant for children highlights serious issues like racism, child or drug abuse etc, then films are the best method to explain the issues.”
"How else does one show and explain these issues to a child? Is it not better to show such films to the child and explain that this is what happens and this is wrong," added Justice Patel.
Not only this, the PTI reports also states that the bench
also directed CBFC's Regional Officer to file an affidavit elaborating and spelling
the board's policy while certifying children's films. The hearing for the
petition has been scheduled on August 5. In the petition, ‘the CBFC had sought
for an abusive word to be silenced and deletion of a scene which the board
found offensive.’ reports PTI.
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