CIVIL, MEDIA

Guidelines For Certification Of Films For Public Exhibition

Vide S.O. 836(E), dated 6.12.1991 and published in the Gazette of India, Ext., Point.II, Section 3(ii), dated 6.12.1991.


In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 5-B of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting No. S.O.9(E), dated the 7th January, 1978, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government hereby directs that in sanctioning films for public exhibition, the Board of Film Certification shall be guided by the following principles:

1. The objectives of film certification will be to ensure that

(a) the medium of film remains responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society;

(b) artistic expression and creative freedom are not unduly curbed;

(c) certification is responsive to social change;

(d) the medium of film provides clean and healthy entertainments; and

(e) as far as possible, the film is of aesthetic value and cinematically of a good standard.

2. In pursuance of the above objectives, the Board of Film Certification shall ensure that

(i) anti-social activities such as violence are not glorified or justified;

(ii) the modus operandi of criminals, other visuals or words likely to incite the commission of any offence are not depicted;

(iii) scenes

(a) showing involvement of children in violence as victims or as prepetrators or as forced witnesses to violence, or showing children as being subjected to any form of child abuse;

(b) showing abuse or ridicule of physically and mentally handicapped persons; and

(c) showing cruelty to or abuse of, animals are not presented needlessly.

(iv) pointless or avoidable scenes of violence, cruelty and horror, scenes of violence primarily intended to provide entertainment and such scenes as may have the effect of desensitising or dehumanising people are not shown;

(v) scenes which have the effect of justifying or glorifying drinking are not shown;

(vi) scenes tending to encourage, justify or glamorise drug addiction are not shown;

[(vi-a) scenes tending to encourage, justify or glamorise consumption of tobacco or smoking are not shown;]

(vii) human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity;

(viii) such dual meaning words obviously cater to baser instincts are not allowed;

(ix) scenes degrading or denigrating women in any manner are not presented;

(x) scenes involving sexual violence against women like attempt to Tape, rape or any form of molestation, or scenes of a similar nature are avoided, and if any such incident is germane to the theme, they shall be reduced to the minimum and no details are shown;

(xi) scenes showing sexual perversions shall be avoided and if such matters are germane to the theme, they shall be reduced to the minimum and no details are shown;

(xii) visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups are not presented;

(xiii) visuals or words which promote communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific and anti-national attitudes are not presented;

(xiv) the sovereignty and integrity of India is not called in question;

(xv) the security of the State is not jeopardised or endangered;

(xvi) friendly relations with foreign States are not strained;

(xvii) public order is not endangered;

(xviii) visuals or words involving defamation of an individual or a l7ody of individuals, or contempt of Court are not presented.

Explanation.-Scenes that tend to create scorn, disgrace or disregard of rules or undermine the dignity of Court will come tinder the term “contempt of court”; and

(xiv) National symbols and emblems are not shown except in accordL-.nce with the provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 (12 of 1950).

3. The Board of Film Certification shall also ensure that the film

(i) is judged in its entirety from the point of view of its overall impacts; and

(ii) is examined in the light of the period depicted in the film and the contemporary standards of the country and the people to which the film relates, provided that the film does not deprave the morality of the audience.

4. Films that meet the above-mentioned criteria but are considered unsuitable for exhibition to non-adults shall be certified for exhibition to adult audiences only.5. (1) While certifying films for unrestricted public exhibition, the Board shall ensure that the film is suitable for family viewing, that is co say, the film should be such that all the members of the family including children can view it together.(2) If the Board, having regard to the nature, content and theme of the film, is of the opinion that it is necessary to caution the parents/ guardian to consider as to whether any child below the age of twelve years may be allowed to see such a film, the film shall be certified for unrestricted public exhibition with an endorsement to that effect.(3) If the Board, having regard to the nature, content and theme of the film, is of the opinion that the exhibition of the film should be restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons, the film shall be certified for publicexhibition restricted to the specialised audiences to be specified by the Board in this behalf.

6. The Board shall scrutinise the titles of the films carefully and ensure that they are not provocative, vulgar, offensive or violative of any of the above-mentioned guidelines.