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Government eliminates appeals court against steps by Board of Censors India News


NEW DELHI: The film fraternity has expressed disappointment at the governmentThe decision to dissolve the Film Certification Court of Appeals (FCAT), an appeals authority that filmmakers approached to challenge decisions made by the Central Film Certification Board, more popularly known as the censorship board.
In an ordinance notified on April 4, the government amended the Cinematography Act of 1952 to say that filmmakers aggrieved by the Central Film Certification Board’s decision will now have to go to higher courts instead of the FCAT to repair their complaints.
The FCAT is one of the courts abolished by the government through the Court Reform (Rationalization and Terms of Service) Ordinance, 2021.
A bill to abolish courts in which the public was not a litigator was introduced by the financier of the Ministry of Health, Anurag Thakur, during this year’s budget session. Since the bill could not be passed during the session, the government issued an ordinance to achieve the proposed changes to the bill.
Among those who expressed concern about the abolition of the FCAT were filmmakers Hansal Mehta, Vishal Bhardwaj and Anurag Kashyap. Mehta, who has made films like ‘Aligarh’ and ‘Shahid’, said that abolishing the court and asking filmmakers to bring their complaints to the HC would only delay the dispute resolution process.
“Do superior courts have a lot of time to address film certification complaints? How many film producers will have the means to go to court? ”He said on Twitter. Bhardwaj also tweeted.
“What a sad day for the movies. Abolished Film Certification Court of Appeal | April 6, 2021, ”he said. The legal fraternity argued that the change would add to the already heavy burden on the courts. Advocate Apar Gupta of the Internet Freedom Foundation said: “The abolition of the FCAT is likely to further increase delays, costs and indeterminacy for filmmakers. … While there are strong arguments for the abolition of the courts, but, until film certification became mandatory, the FCAT was largely an imperfect but functional body … ”

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