Maharashtra is the only state where the state censor board decides on the content of a live show through the Maharashtra Stage Performance Scrutiny Board (MSPSB), which is under the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department. The culture department has now pulled this “censor rule” as it looks to probe the AIB comedy show.
The board, which comes under the Cultural Affairs Ministry headed by Vinod Tawde, has issued a notice to the National Sports Club of India’s (NSCI) Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium at Worli, stating that a performance certificate had not been sought from them. Interestingly, the last live act which bore the board’s brunt was a lavani act in Pune, whose organisers did not procure the same performance certificate from MSPSB.
“No performance certificate was issued by us for the AIB Knockout show,” said Ram Jadhav, chairman of the state censor board. According the board authorities, the organisers did not apply for the “mandatory” certificate to perform live. The officials said the organisers will have to answer queries related to all licences.
Jadhav said they have sought “a clarification from the stadium authorities on how they allowed the performance without verifying if the organisers… procured all mandatory certificates and licences”.
“The stadium too is at fault. Our officials will be meeting the stadium authorities for further investigation and based on their reply we will decide on the next course of action,” he said. Organisers of shows have to submit to a scrutiny of their scripts and performance details by the “authorities” of the board, said officials.
“While many are still unaware and clueless about the rules and are still wondering how cultural department and censor board can take action against a live performance, we want to clarify this now. There are two censor boards, one at the central level and the other at the state level. While the central board issues certificates to films, the state board looks at live stage performances,” said Dr Ajay Ambekar, Director of the Cultural Affairs Department.
Meanwhile, Tawde said, “We just want to verify if they have followed all the rules. This we are doing after a few NGOs approached us and requested us to take action against the organisers and hosts. If they have followed all the rules and had all permissions and licences we will not take any action them.”
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