Graft charges: Censor Board reacts to Vishal's complaint, says it has zero tolerance to corruption

Vishal's sci-fi film directed by Adhik Ravichandran, was released in Hindi on Thursday. Photo: Instagram | actorvishalofficial

New Delhi: The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has reacted to the allegations by actor Vishal who claimed he had to pay Rs 6.5 lakh as bribe to get the Hindi version of 'Mark Antony' censored. The CBFC officials said it 'zero tolerance' to corruption and will also not tolerate attempts to malign the image of CBFC. It also asked filmmakers to refrain from depending on agents while applying for censorship.

“With the implementation of aggressive digitization, complete process automation and emphasis on minimal human intervention, the interference of intermediaries / agents has come down signficantly. However, the practice still exists in some regions which is defeating the purpose of transparency and smooth functioning of the certification process,” the CBFC stated.

Meanwhile, Union Information and Broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur directed officials to swiftly implement measures to enhance transparency and accountability in the administration of the board. A senior official said Thakur directed Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra to ensure maximum utilisation of technology and the rolling out of a faceless system on the lines of the Income Tax Office for slotting of films to be scheduled for screening for certification officials.

The action came in the wake of allegations by Tamil actor Vishal, who claimed that he had to pay Rs 6.5 lakh to the CBFC's Mumbai office for the screening and certification of the Hindi version of his film 'Mark Anton'. The official said Thakur wants the CBFC, also known popularly as Censor Board, to speed up creating a transparent mechanism for faster certification of films in urgent cases and further strengthen the oversight measures. The minister has sought an action-taken report in the matter by October 16.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting sent an official to Mumbai to conduct an inquiry into the matter soon after Vishal made the allegations on social media. Vishal's sci-fi film 'Mark Antony', directed by Adhik Ravichandran, was released in Hindi on Thursday. The movie also features S J Suryah, Ritu Varma, Sunil, Selvaraghavan and Abhinaya. In a statement, the Indian Film and Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) expressed concern over the allegations made against CBFC officials and demanded a CBI enquiry in the matter.

(With PTI inputs)

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