The Bombay High Court on Wednesday told the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that they “cannot stifle the minds of the children” with their rules and need to revisit their own guidelines.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Children’s Film Society, registered under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. The petitioner had claimed that the CBFC had directed them to delete “certain violent scenes” from the movie, ‘Chidiakhana’, for it to be granted a ‘U’ (Universal) certificate. The petition was filed seeking directions to the CBFC tribunal to hear its appeal against the CFBC’s decision to give the film a ‘U/A’ certificate — the certificate allows children below 12 years to see a film under parental guidance.
A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel told the CBFC that they have no idea as to how much violence a 12-year-old child is exposed to. “You cannot stifle the mind of the child,” Justice Patel said. He added that it was precisely why CBFC needs to revisit its guidelines.
Rajiv Chavan, senior counsel for the CBFC, told the court that the movie cannot be granted a ‘U’ certificate as there there is “inherent violence” in the film. He further gave examples of two films, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘No Fathers in Kashmir’, which were related to children and were still given an ‘A’ (adult) certificate.
Advocate Yashodeep Deshmukh, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that CBFC’s refusal to grant the film a ‘U’ certificate was “unreasonable”. He added that the movie doesn’t fall under ‘U/A’ if it is watched as a whole.