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Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2021 : Key Features

To tackle the menace of film piracy, The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019

was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 12.02.2019 after getting Cabinet approval on

06.02.2019, wherein it was proposed to insert a new section 6AA and a new sub-section

(1A) in Section 7 of the Act.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting proposes to introduce the

Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which will make the process of sanctioning of

films for exhibition more effective, in tune with the changed times and curb the menace

of piracy.

The important changes proposed are as follows:

a) The following provisions relating to certification of films under ‘unrestricted

public exhibition’ category are proposed to be amended so as to further sub-divide

the existing UA category into age-based categories, viz. U/A 7+, U/A 13+ and

U/A 16+:

i. proviso to clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 4 - Examination of


ii. clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 5A - Certification of films

iii. clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 6 - Revisional powers of the

Central Government

b) Amendment of sub-section (3) of section 5A regarding ‘Validity of certificate’

c) Amendment of sub-section(1) of section 6 regarding ‘Revisional powers of

the Central Government’.

The following amendments are proposed in the Draft Bill:

i. Removal of the provisions struck down by the Hon’ble Court in sub-

section (1) of section 6 in the principal Act.

ii. Adding a proviso to sub-section (1) of section 6 for granting revisionary

powers to the Government on account of violation of Section 5B(1) of

the Act.

d) Film Piracy, particularly release of pirated version of films on internet, causes

huge losses to the film industry and government exchequer. In most cases, illegal

duplication in cinema halls is the originating point of piracy. At present, there are

no enabling provisions to check film piracy in the Cinematograph Act, 1952

making it necessary to have a provision in the Act to check film piracy.

Therefore, the following amendments are proposed in the Draft Bill:

i. Insertion of new section 6AA - Prohibition of unauthorized recording

ii. Insertion of new sub-section 1A in section 7 – Penalties for

contravention of this part.

Information Sources -

  1. https://mib.gov.in/sites/default/files/Public%20comments%20sought%20on%20Cinematograph%20(Amendment)%20Bill%202021.pdf

  2. https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/2170/1/A1952__37.pdf

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