Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed by Parliament

  • The bill aims to curb the menace of piracy with provisions including three months’ imprisonment and a fine of 3 lakh, which can be extended up to three years imprisonment and a fine up to 5% of the audited gross production cost

Lata Jha
First Published31 Jul 2023
The Bill has divided the current age-based category of 12 years (UA 12+) into three sub-categories --seven years (UA 7+), 13 years (UA 13+), and 16 years (UA 16+)
The Bill has divided the current age-based category of 12 years (UA 12+) into three sub-categories --seven years (UA 7+), 13 years (UA 13+), and 16 years (UA 16+)

The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed by the Parliament on Monday after a nod from the Lok Sabha. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 20 July, 2023 and passed post discussion a week after. The bill aims to curb the menace of piracy with provisions including three months’ imprisonment and a fine of 3 lakh, which can be extended up to three years imprisonment and a fine up to 5% of the audited gross production cost.

“The empowerment of the Indian film industry with ease of doing business and its protection from the menace of privacy, would go a long way in the growth of the content creation ecosystem in India, and would help safeguard the interests of all artists and artisans working in the sector,” union minister for information and broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur said.

Moreover, the Bill attempts to improve the procedure for certification of films for public exhibition by the Central Board of Film Certification, as well as improve categorisations for the same. It has introduced age-based categories of certification by further sub-dividing the existing UA category into three age-based categories--seven years (UA 7+), 13 years (UA 13+), and 16 years (UA 16+), instead of only 12 years. These age-based markers would be only recommendatory, meant for the parents or guardians to consider whether their children should view such a film.

Further, revisional powers of the central government with respect to films have been omitted. Provisions in the Act that allowed validity of certificates of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to remain for 10 years, have now been modified for perpetuity. 

The Bill also allows for recertification of edited films for television broadcast, as only Unrestricted Public Exhibition category films can be shown on television.

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