Suggested changes will help CBFC: Shyam Benegal

New Delhi, Aug 12 : Acclaimed director Shyam Benegal, who headed the panel that worked on the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) revamp, today said that he recommended few changes at the time of awarding certificates, adding it would ease the procedure.

Benegal said that his committee had worked out a report looking at the problems which rattled the film fraternity in the past and submitted it to the government which would be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament.

"There are certain things which we have said, which are different from what has happened in the past. One of the things we have suggested is that the person, who has made the film, has the right to change it, not anybody else," said Benegal.

"The other change is that we have made other categories so that the classification becomes much more specific which relates to age and maturity.

It's a fairly comprehensive report and I believe that it will certainly get passed as it will make a lot of difference," he added.

The Shyam Benegal expert committee on film certification has recommended doing away with the current system of carrying disclaimers during each smoking scene and has instead suggested that there should be just one anti-smoking static warning at the start of the film.

The suggestion by the eight-member panel is based on the need for "smooth viewing of films" which, it has said, is currently disturbed by showing the static warnings in every smoking scene, at the beginning and during intervals.

The panel recently submitted the second part of its report, pertaining to anti-smoking warnings and use of animals in films, to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

In a massive development set to rock the Censor Board and the film industry, the monitoring body is likely to be stripped off its 'censoring' powers and will be left only with the authority to 'certify'.

According to Information and Broadcasting sources, the Ministry is working on major changes in the Cinematography Act and the Bill will be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament.

In the wake of the recent furore by the film industry under CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, the government has expressed its desire to avoid any further controversies.

Sources further stated the entire film certification process will be reworked and changed, adding there will be two committees: one for reviewing and the other for monitoring.

The members of the two committees will also be appointed from the National Commission for Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights including psychologists.

The films will be given certificates under following categories: U12+, U15+, A and A+ (for extreme violence and sex scenes).

Asserting there is no mention of the word "censor" in the CBFC, the Bombay High Court had earlier in June pulled up the board for demanding 89 cuts in 'Udta Punjab' to grant a certificate for its release, while directing it to use its power as per the constitutional provisions and directions issued by the Supreme Court.

The High Court observed, "There is no mention of the word 'censor' in the board. The board should use its powers under the constitutional framework and the Supreme Court's directions.".

Source: ANI