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Discourage Frivolous Litigations: Film Guild to I&B Ministry

Film and Television Producers Guild (FTPG) has sought the Centre's intervention to discourage frivolous litigations challenging the content of films that have been certified for exhibition by the CBFC.

In a letter to the new Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari on November 9, Guild president Mukesh Bhatt said the judicial process has been ill-treated by political parties and fake interest groups to achieve self advertisement.

"Even kickstarting a procedure by initiating litigation and summoning the CBFC, producers, directors, actors, distributors of the films is sufficient to give mammoth publicity to the litigant on one hand and cause undue harassment to those associated with the film on the other hand," Bhatt wrote.

The filmmaker noted that a film scheduled for release is therefore perceived as a potential wage for undue gains in terms of money, fame, publicity and it has become a preferred tendency to approach courts at the last minute before the scheduled release to suit such malafide purpose.

Bhatt described the growing instances of frivolous litigations as an abuse of the legal system, which is meant for protection of individual rights and freedom.

Moreover, any attempt to trigger the process of pre-censorship by addressing frivolous letters to the CBFC, as has been done in several instances, results in CBFC being over-cautious, conservative and using a magnifying glass to certify films for public exhibition, Bhatt said.

The freedom of speech and expression of a filmmaker is thus jeopardised when the CBFC acts in an unstructured and conventional manner, Bhatt said. 

"It is disheartening to mention that the film makers have also been exploited at the instance of government and public authorities who have themselves demonstrated lack of faith in the CBFC as statutory body constituted for certification. Films such as 'Aarakshan' and 'Mausam' are witnesses to such exploitation," Bhatt said.

The need of the hour is to instill faith in the expert body which comprises of qualified members competent to certify films, he said.

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