The Chairperson of the Censor Board has sent her resignation to the Government. So have some other Members. They have alleged interference by the Government and corruption in the Board.
Along with my colleague Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, I look after the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. At no point either of us have communicated with any Member of the Censor Board or desired that any bureaucrat to do the same. I have not met or spoken to any Member of the Censor Board nor authorised anyone to do the same. It is the UPA appointed Central Censor Board which has since continued. If there is any corruption, the UPA appointees have themselves to blame. I only wished that the fact of corruption had been communicated even once by the Chairperson of the Censor Board to me. The non-functional Chairperson never did so. The charge that meetings of the Censor Board are not being held is a Self Condemnation. The meetings are to be convened not by the Minister or the Secretary but by the Chairperson. If the meetings are not being convened, it is for those responsible for non-functioning who must blame themselves. I have checked up from officials of the Ministry who informed that the funds for the Censor Board have been returned to the Ministry as unspent by the Board.
The legal regime with regard to the functioning of the Censor Board is clear. It is the Censor Board alone which decides issues within its’ jurisdiction. The aggrieved producer has a right to move to the Appeal Tribunal. The Congress Party has politicised even Membership of the Appeal Tribunal. We have restored its dignity by appointing a former Judge of high credibility as Chairperson. If an Appeal Tribunal disagrees with the Board, it is a part of the due process of law and not an onslaught on Board’s autonomy. Can a subordinate judicial authority ever cry foul if its decision upset by an appellate authority? The NDA Government maintains arms length distance in all matters relating to Film certification.
The UPA Government had politicised the Censor Board. In 2004 they dismissed the existing Censor Board headed by an eminent Film actor Anupam Kher merely on the ground that Anupam Kher was appointed by the earlier Government. We did not wish to do that. It is regrettable that the UPA appointees have decided to politicise routine issues.