The court told the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that it could not decide on what children could see beyond what the law has stated.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has come down heavily on the film certification board for adopting an unrelenting stand on the children’s film Chidiakhana, which has been given a U/A certification. The Children’s Film Society of India (CBFSI) has challenged the same on the grounds that the violence shown in the film — based on which it was given the U/A certification — is an integral part of the movie and cannot be removed. The court told the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that it could not decide on what children could see beyond what the law has stated.
On Wednesday, CBFC counsel Rajiv Chavan told the HC that the film had some scenes in which children were shown holding guns and firing bullets, among other things, and therefore, it was not fit to be awarded a ‘U’ certificate.
A ‘U’ certificate indicates that the film is suitable for all age groups, while a ‘U/A’ certificate means that parents of children below 12 years must exercise caution while permitting their children to watch such film.
A division bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and G.S. Patel asked, “How much do you know of the life of a child below 12 years of age? Are you aware of the level of violence one child is capable of ensuing upon another? You are stifling a childs mind by imposing restrictions through certification.”
If this is the level of understanding of the board members then you have our sympathies, it said.
Referring to past disputes over certification, the bench said, “From the film ‘Bandit Queen’ to ‘Udta Punjab’, there has been one guiding principle that the board cant discern who should watch a film without any need for caution and who shouldn’t.”
The bench will now conduct a final hearing in the case on August 23.