A Socio-Legal Perspective of the Cinematograph Act, 1952
Volume II – Issue II, 2019
In India, the exhibition of films is governed by the Cinematograph Act, 1952. This Act, preceded by an Act of 1918, provides for the process of certification of films for public exhibition. It also provides for the licensing and regulation of cinemas. The Cinematograph Act, 1952 provides for the constitution of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), consisting of a Chairman and other members for the purpose of sanctioning films for public exhibition. The number of members may range between 12 and 25. The Chairman and members are appointed by the Central Government and enjoy office at the pleasure of the Central Government. Neither do they have security of tenure, nor are qualifications for their appointment specified. Advisory panels may be established at regional centres consisting of “persons qualified in the opinion of the Central Government to judge the effect of films on the public.” This is rather a nebulous qualification. A person desiring to exhibit a film is required to make an application to the Board in the manner prescribed under the rules.