The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to revisit its guidelines while granting certification to children’s films.
A petition filed by the Children’s Film Society, registered under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, claimed the CBFC had directed deleting certain violent scenes from the movie Chidiakhana for a ‘U’ (Universal) certificate. The petition seeks directions to the CBFC tribunal to hear its appeal against the CFBC’s decision to give the film a ‘U/A’ certificate which requires children below 12 to see it under parental guidance.
A division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Gautam Patel said the board should “grow up” while granting certificate to certain films. The bench further said while it understood the CBFC’s concerns about films related to children, they need to revisit their own guidelines, the bench said.
The bench also said that due to technology, movies are not just watched in the theatre, but mainly on the television, mobile phones and laptop. The CBFC also has to consider the technology available for childern to consume such content while granting certificate, it said.
The bench further said that not every child has a flowery life, there are kids living in slums and boarding schools who suffer and have many challenges to face. “This is the world that should be shown to them (children)”. It added that the child needs to know about the atrocities through such platform, otherwise these days their time is taken away by school, classes, homework, it said.
Advocate Yashodeep Deshmukh for the petitioner told the court that the CBFC has come up with a list of additional scenes as ground to not grant universal certificate for the movie.
Deshmukh argued that even a film like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was granted ‘U’ certificate, despite scenes where actors in the movie are shown drinking alcohol and the actress is wearing skimpy clothes.
Deshmukh argued that the Children’s Film Society only allows ‘U’ certificate films and if that is not granted the project will be shelved.
He added that the petitioner would consider certain cuts in the movie so that the film will reach the people.
On this Justice Patel, said, “Why can’t Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) make ‘U/A’ films? They must also grow up. If it was for a private production, you would be happy with ‘U/A’, only because it is CFSI, it bites you.”