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Contempt Against CBFC: Kerala HC Deprecates CBFC’s Refusal To Review ‘Ka Bodyscapes’

Manu Sebastian
26 Jun 2017 8:59 AM GMT
Contempt Against CBFC: Kerala HC Deprecates CBFC’s Refusal To Review ‘Ka Bodyscapes’
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The movie ‘Ka Bodyscapes’ has been in the eye of storm for some time. The movie is reportedly dealing with the theme of homosexuality, and has courted several controversies due to its alleged portrayal of Hindu gods in obscene light and contents of nudity.

The film was refused certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC), constraining the director-cum-producer-cum-scriptwriter Mr.Jayan Cherian to approach the High Court of  Kerala. A single bench of the High Court observed that mere references to homosexuality or sexual act could not be construed as obscenity, and that a film should not be wholly judged as vulgar and obscene on the basis of one or two scenes or expressions. The Live Law story on that may be accessed here.

The single bench held that an attempt should be made to make the film viewable, if at all any objectionable scenes were there, after giving an opportunity to the makers to delete or modify such scenes, rather than banning the film totally. Hence, the Revising Committee of CBFC was directed to review its decision.

The CBFC took the matter in appeal before the Division Bench . The Division Bench refused to interfere with the findings and directions of the Single Judge. The Division Bench further directed that the Board itself should review the movie, instead of the Revising Committee, having regard to the fact that the movie was in the can for quite a long time. The Live Law story on that may be accessed here.

However, it appears that the review in furtherance of the Division Bench orders was conducted by the Revising Committee, instead of the Board itself. This was in clear contravention of the directions of the Division Bench, which specifically ordered the Board itself to review the movie. The Revising Committee recommended against giving certification to the movie.

Therefore, petition for initiation of contempt action was filed against the officials of the CBFC. The Bench of Chief Justice Navaniti Prasad and Justice Raja Vijayaraghaavan observed that the compliance was made in breach of the orders of the Court, as the Revising Committee reviewed the film. However, the Court granted an opportunity to purge the contempt by permitting the Board to review the movie. But, the Court also directed that the Board itself should bear the costs of examination by itself, as the petitioner had incurred costs for the examination by the Revising Committee, which was held contravening the earlier orders. A time limit of one month to finalize the review was also fixed.























































































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