(1) This Act may be called the Cinematograph Act, 1952
(2) It extend to the whole of India
Section 3. Board of Film Certification
(1) For the purpose of sanctioning films for public exhibition, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute Board of Film Certification which shall consist of a Chairman and not less than twelve and not more than twenty five other members appointed by the Central Government.(
2) The Chairman of the Board shall receive such salary and allowances as may be determined by the Central Government, and the other members shall receive such allowances or fees for attending the meetings of the Board as may be prescribed.
(3) The other terms and conditions of service of the members of the Board shall be such as may be prescribed.
4.Examination of films
1) Any person desiring to exhibit any film shall in the prescribed manner make an application to the Board for a certificate in the prescribed manner,-
(i) sanction the film for unrestricted public exhibition .
(ii) sanction the film for public exhibition restricted to adults;
or(iia) sanction the film for public exhibition restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons, having regard to the nature, content and theme of the film; or]
(iii) direct the applicant to carry out such excisions or modifications in the film as it thinks necessary before sanctioning the film for public exhibition under any of the foregoing clauses; or
(iv) refuse to sanction the film for public exhibition.
5. Advisory panels
(1) For the purpose of enabling the Board to efficiently discharge its functions under this Act, the Central Government may establish at such regional centers as it thinks fit, advisory panels each of which shall consist of such number of persons, being persons qualified in the opinion of the Central Government
.(2) At each regional centre there shall be as many regional officers in the examination of films.
3) The Board may consult with advisory panel for a certificate has been made.
(4) It shall be the duty of every such advisory panel to examine the film and to make such recommendations to the Board as it thinks fit.(
5) The members of the advisory panel shall not be entitled to any salary but shall receive such fees or allowances as may be prescribed.
5A. Certification of films
(1) If, after examining a film or having it examined in the prescribed manner, the Board considers that-(a) the film is suitable for unrestricted public exhibition, it shall grant to the person applying for a certificate in respect of the film a "U" certificate or, as the case may be, a "UA" certificate; or(b) the film is not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition, but is suitable for public exhibition restricted to adults it shall grant to the person applying for a certificate in respect of the film an "A" certificateor, as the case may be, is suitable for public exhibition restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons,or, as the case may be, an "S" certificate; and cause the film to be so marked in the prescribed manner:(2) A certificate granted or an order refusing to grant a certificate in respect of any film shall be published in the Gazette of India.(3) Subject to the other provisions contained in this Act, a certificate granted by the Board under this section shall be valid throughout India for a period of ten years.
5B. Principles for guidance in certifying films
(1) A film shall not be certified for public exhibition if, in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the film or any part of it is against the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India] the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence.
6. Revisional powers of the Central Government(
1) the Central Government call for the record of any proceeding in relation to any film which is pending before, or has been decided by, the Board, or, the Tribunal after such inquiry, into the matter as it considers necessary, make such order in relation thereto PROVIDED affecting any person applying for a certificate or to whom a certificate has been granted, as the case may be, except after giving him an opportunity for representing his views in the matter:
(2) the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that-(a) a film which has been granted a certificate shall be deemed to be an uncertified film in the whole or any part of India; or(b) a film which has been granted a "U" certificate [or a "UA" certificate or an "S" certificate] shall be deemed to be a film in respect of which an "A" certificate has been granted; or
.7A. Power of seizure
(1) Where film is which no certificate has been granted under this Act is exhibited, or a film certified as suitable for public exhibition restricted to adults is exhibited to any person who is not an adult or a film is exhibited in contravention of any of the other provisions contained in this Act or of any order made by the Central Government, , the Tribuna or the Board in the exercise of any of the powers conferred on it, any police officer may, enter any place in which he has reason to believe that the film has been or is being or is likely to be exhibited, search it and seize the film.
13. Power of Central Government or local authority to suspend exhibition of films in certain cases
(1) The Lieutenant-Governor or, the Chief Commissioner,, and the district magistrate may if he is of opinion that any films which is being publicly exhibited is likely to cause a breach of the peace, by order, suspend the exhibition of the film and during such suspension the film shall be deemed to be an uncertified film in the State, part or district,
Can the court decide against the title of the films like Munna Bhai MBBS or Vasool raja MBBS?
(3) This Act shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, Section 2: DefinitionIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-(a) "adult" means a person who has completed his eighteenth year;(b) "Board" means the Board of Film Certification constituted by the Central Government under section 3;]("certificate" means the certificate granted by the Board under section 5A;](c) "cinematograph" includes any apparatus for the representation of moving pictures or series of pictures;(d) "District Magistrate", in relation to a presidency-town, means the Commissioner of Police;(dd) "film" means a cinematograph film;](e) "place" includes a house, building, tent and any description of transport, whether by sea, land or air;(f) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;(g) "regional officer" means a regional officer appointed by the Central Government under section 5 and includes an additional regional officer and an assistant regional officer;(h) " Tribunal " means the Appellate Tribunal constituted under section 5D.
The Petition:“The very term "Vasool Raja, M.B.B.S." gives an impression to the general public that the Medical Practitioners are only interested in collecting money from their patients and not bothered about the Medical Ethics. If the title "Vasool Raja, M.B.B.S." is translated in English, it will read as "King of Collection". The words "Vasool Raja" in Tamil are not a name, but it only means "a man, who heeds collection of money by hook or crook, and, who is greedy of money and whose intention is only to earn money by unlawful means".
“ The film is offensive and hurting the entire community of Medical Practitioners, who have obtained M.B.B.S. Degree. It is also likely to cause an unbearable harm to the students, who are undergoing MBBS Course. The title is damaging in nature and it degrades the degree awarded by Dr. MGR Medical University”.
“ Respondent has replied that it is a Tamil version of a Hindi film "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.", and it cannot be termed as improper”. Court order: “ The writ petition is devoid of merits and the same is the result of unnecessary apprehensions of a few of Medical Practitioners”.
“ The main theme of the picture is that a local Dadha, by name, Vasool raja, wants to become an M.B.B.S. Graduate. The life of an elderly student in the campus of a Medical College is the main line of the story; it is only a remake of a Hindi film title "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.". The Code of Conduct for Medical Practitioners cannot be considered in this case”.
“ Film is a fiction and it cannot be related to real life situations. Entertainment sector has always enjoyed a privilege, even when a fair and reasonable criticism is a story line”.
“ 'Munna Bhai' would only refer to a local dadha in Hindi. This title would not suggest that Medical Practitioners are greedy persons”.“ The title does not suggest that the entire profession of Medical Practitioners as collection agents”.
“ The words "Vasool Raja, M.B.B.S." is in singular”. It may at the most mean an individual. The petitioner has no objection to add the suffix 'Vasool Raja' to an individual like "Kamalhasan, M.B.B.S." Therefore, it is not possible to hold that the title of the film is per se defamatory.