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CINEMATOGRAPH ACT, 1952

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 37 of 1952


  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Act nº 37 of 1952

Preamble

THE CINEMATOGRAPH ACT, 19521

(Act, No. 37 of 1952)

[21st March, 1952]

PREAMBLE

An Act to make provision for the certification of cinematograph films for exhibition and for regulating exhibitions by means of cinematographs.

Be it enacted by Parliament as follows:--

1. This Act has been extended to Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963, section 2 and Schedule; Goa, Daman and Dilu by Reg. 11 of 1963, section 3 and Schedule

Parts I and II of the Act shall come into force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir (w.e.f. 1-5-1974). [Vide Notification No. O.S.R. 183(E), dated 23rd April, 1974.

Part III of the Act enforced in the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh (w.e.f. 1-10-84), (Vide S.O. 754(E), dated 29th September, 1984.


Part 1

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

(2) Parts I, II and IV extends to the whole of India1[***] and Part III extends to2[the Union territories] only.

(3) This Act shall come into force on such date3as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint:

4[Provided that Parts I and II shall come into force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir only on such date after the commencement of the Cinematograph (Amendment) Act, 1973 (26 of 1973), as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.]

1. The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 25 of 1973, section 2.

2. Substituted by Act 3 of 1959, section 2, for "Part C States".

3. It came into force on 28th July, 1952, Information and Broadcasting Ministry's Notification No. S.R.O. 1066, dated the 10th June, 1952, Gazette of India, 1952, Part II, section 3, p. 945.

4. The proviso added by Act 25 of 1973, section 2.


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "adult" means a person who has completed his eighteenth year;

1[(b) "Board" means the Board of Film Certification constituted by the Central Government under section 3;]

2[(bb) "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;

3[(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;

2[(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.]

1. Substituted by Act 49 of 1981, section 2, for clause (b) (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).

2. Inserted by Act 49 of 1981, section 2 (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).

3. Inserted by Act 3 of 1959, section 3.


Section 2A. Construction of references to any law not in force or any functionary not in existence in the State of Jammu and Kashmir

1 [2A. Construction of references to any law not in force or any functionary not in existence in the State of

Jammu and Kashmir

Any reference in this Act to any law which is not in force, or any functionary not in existence, in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law in force, or to the corresponding functionary in existence, in that State.]

1. Inserted by Act 25 of 1973, section 3.


Part 2

Section 3. Board of film Certification

1[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 a Board to be called the2[Board of Film Certification] which shall consist of a Chairman and3[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.]

1. Substituted by Act 3 of 1959, section 4, for sections 3 to 6.

2. Substituted by Act 49 of 1981, section 3, for "Board of Film Censors" (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).

3. Substituted by Act 49 of 1981, section 3, for "not more than nine" (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).


Section 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 respect thereof, and the Board may, after examining or having the film examined in the prescribed manner,--

(i) sanction the film for unrestricted public exhibition:1[***]

2[Provided that, having regard to any material in the film, if the Board is of the opinion that it is necessary to caution that the question as to whether any child below the age of twelve years may be allowed to see such a film should be considered by the parents or guardian of such child, the Board may sanction the film for unrestricted public exhibition with an endorsement to that effect; or]

(ii) sanction the film for public exhibition restricted to adults; or

3[(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]

4[(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.

(2) No action under5[the proviso to clause (i), clause (ii), clause (iia), clause (iii) or clause (iv)] of sub-section (1) shall be taken by the Board except after giving an opportunity to the applicant for representing his views in the matter.

1. The word "or" omitted by Act 49 of 1981, section 4 (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).

2. The proviso added by Act 49 of 1981, section 4 (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).

3. Inserted by Act 49 of 1981, section 4 (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).

4. Substituted by Act 49 of 1981, section 4, for clause (iii) (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).

5. Substituted by Act 49 of 1981, section 4, for "clause (ii), clause (iii) or clause (iv)" (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).


Section 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 centres 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 to judge the effect of films on the public, as the Central Government may think fit to appoint thereto.

(2) At each regional centre there shall be as many regional officers as the Central Government may think fit to appoint, and rules made in this behalf may provide for the association of regional officers in the examination of films.

(3) The Board may consult in such manner as may be prescribed, any advisory panel in respect of any film for which an application for a certificate has been made.

(4) It shall be the duty of every such advisory panel whether acting as a body or in committees as may be provided in the rules made in this behalf 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.

Section 5A. Certification of films

1[(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, or, as the case may be, for unrestricted public exhibition with an endorsement of the nature mentioned in the proviso to clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 4, 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 or, as the case may be, is suitable for public exhibition restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons, it shall grant to the person applying for a certificate in respect of the film an "A" certificate or, as the case may be, a "S" certificate,

and cause the film to be so marked in the prescribed manner:

Provided that the applicant for the certificate, any distributor or exhibitor or any other person to whom the rights in the film have passed shall not be liable for punishment under any law relating to obscenity in respect of any matter contained in the film for which certificate has been granted under clause (a) or clause (b).]

(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.

1. Substituted by Act 49 of 1981, section 5, for sub-section (1) (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).


Section 5B. Principles of 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 of1[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.

(2) Subject to the provisions contained in sub-section (I), the Central Government may issue such directions as it may think fit setting out the principles which shall guide the authority competent to grant certificates under this Act in sanctioning films for public exhibition.

1. Inserted by Act 49 of 1981, section 8 (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).


Section 5C. Appeals

1[5C. Appeals

(1) Any person applying for a certificate in respect of a film who is aggrieved by any order of the Board--

(a) refusing to grant a certificate; or

(b) granting only an "A" certificate; or

(c) granting only a "S" certificate; or

(d) granting only a "UA" certificate; or

(e) directing the applicant to carry out any excisions or modifications, may, within thirty days from the date of such order, prefer an appeal to the Tribunal:

Provided that the Tribunal may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal within the aforesaid period of thirty days, allow such appeal to be admitted within a further period of thirty days.

(2) Every appeal under this section shall be made by a petition in writing and shall be accompanied by a brief statement of the reasons for the order appealed against where such statement has been furnished to the appellant and by such fees, not exceeding rupees one thousand, as may be prescribed.]

1. Substituted by Act 49 of 1981, section 7, for section 5C (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).


Section 5D. Constitution of Appellate Tribunal

1 [5D. Constitution of Appellate Tribunal

(1) For the purpose of hearing appeals against any order of the Board under section 5C, the Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute an Appellate Tribunal.

(2) The head office of the Tribunal shall be at New Delhi or at such other place as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

(3) Such Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and not more than four other members appointed by the Central Government.

(4) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Chairman of the Tribunal unless he is a retired Judge of a High Court, or is a person who is qualified to be a Judge of a High Court.

(5) The Central Government may appoint such persons who, in its opinion, are qualified to judge the effect of films on the public, to be members of the Tribunal.

(6) The Chairman of the Tribunal shall receive such salary and allowances as may be determined by the Central Government and the members shall receive such allowances or fees as may be prescribed.

(7) Subject to such rules as may be made in this behalf, the Central Government may appoint a Secretary and such other employees as it may think necessary for the efficient performance of the functions of the Tribunal under this Act.

(8) The Secretary to, and other employees of, the Tribunal shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be prescribed after consultation with the Chairman of the Tribunal.

(9) The other terms and conditions of service of the Chairman and members of, and the Secretary to, and other employees of, the Tribunal shall be such as may be prescribed.

(10) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Tribunal may regulate its own procedure.

(11) The Tribunal may, after making such inquiry into the matter as it considers necessary, and after giving the appellant and the Board an opportunity of being heard in the matter, make such order in relation to a film as it thinks fit and the Board shall dispose of the matter in conformity with such order.

1. Inserted by Act 49 of 1981, section 8 (w.e.f. 1-6-1983).


Section 5E. Suspension and revocation of certificate

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2) of section 6, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette suspend a certificate granted under this Part, for such period as it thinks fit or may revoke such certificate if it is satisfied that--

(i) the film in respect of which the certificate was granted, was being exhibited in a form other than the one in which it was certified; or

(ii) the film or any part thereof is being exhibited in contravention of the provisions of this Part or the rules made thereunder.

(2) Where a notification under sub-section (1) has been published, the Central Government may require the applicant for certificate or any other person to whom the rights in the film have passed, or both, to deliver up the certificate and all duplicate certificates, if any, granted in respect of the film to the Board or to any person or authority specified in the said notification.

(3) No action under this section shall be taken except after giving an opportunity to the person concerned for representing his views in the matter.

(4) During the period in which a certificate remains suspended under this section, the film shall be deemed to be an uncertified film.

Section 5F. Review of orders by Central Government

(1) Where an applicant for a certificate or any other person to whom the rights in the film have passed, is aggrieved by any order of the Central Government under section 5E, he may, within sixty days of the date of publication of the notification in the Official Gazette, make an application to the Central Government for review of the order, setting out in such application the grounds on which he considers such review to be necessary:

Provided that the Central Government may, if it is satisfied that the applicant for a certificate or that other person was prevented by sufficient cause from filing an application for review within the aforesaid period of sixty days, allow such application to be filed within a further period of sixty days.

(2) On receipt of the application under sub-section (1), the Central Government may, after giving the aggrieved person a reasonable opportunity of being heard, and after making such further inquiry, as it may consider necessary, pass such order as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or reversing its decision and the Board shall dispose of the matter in conformity with such order.]