Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra are seen in a movie still from "Dangal," which became a huge hit in China. Pehlaj Nihalani says that the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) will take criminal action against those producers who send their films overseas without proper certification. photo provided) 

MUMBAI—Some producers, in a hurry to undertake the process of film distribution days before release, have been sending off their films overseas without proper censor certification. Livid and armed with a long list of culpable producers, chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani says that the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) is set to take the strongest criminal action against the offenders.

Said Nihalani, “The practice is not new. Producers have been sending off their films overseas without proper censor certification for many years now. Before I came in, the deadlines could be beaten by ‘purchasing’ censor certificates for as little as Rs. 10,000. I put an end to this unsavory practice. So, the producers found a new devious method of beating the deadline. They dispatch their films overseas market without certificates, or with wrong (inserting an old film’s censor certificate with a new release) certificates.”

He added, “Nobody checks the details on the certificate. So, the producers get away with this duplicity. But now, we have a list of filmmakers who have indulged in this criminal practice.”

He also admitted that some producers submit incomplete films for certification. “They come without the full background score, or incomplete dubbing or a missing song. Let me inform them that this is against the rules. Films must be submitted only after they are complete. Nothing can be added once a film is handed over to the censors.”

Incidentally, when news of this broke out, filmmaker Hansal Mehta made a statement that he would rather court arrest and face criminal charges rather than follow such diktats. Strange, we thought.

Stranger when another pseudo-intellectual filmmaker sans a hit, Sudhir Mishra, stated, “Count me in.” Actress Swara Bhaskar has even retweeted Mehta’s poisonous comment.

These ‘award-waapsi’ brigade types do not even respect the law of the land that is not even written by Nihalani. In fact, Nihalani has been nominated by the party that is always a target for their hate campaign under the dubious veneer of being proponents of freedom and secularism. But, whatever their political orientations, we never imagined that they would stoop so low as to disrespect the laws of the land.

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