Jan 31, 2013 at 09:34am IST

'Vishwaroopam' ban: Govt steps in, mulls amending Cinematograph Act

New Delhi: In the backdrop of the controversy surrounding Kamal Haasan's 'Vishwaroopam', the Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has indicated that the government may consider amending the law. He tweeted on Thursday that it's time the Cinematograph Act is revisited to ensure that state governments cannot question a certificate that is once given by the censor board.

He tweeted that this is necessary as each state would otherwise be its own censor. "Time Cinematograph Act revisited to ensure implementational integrity certification decisions Otherwise each state would be it's own censor 9sic)," Tewari tweeted.

ALSO SEE 'Vishwaroopam' ban: Censor board flouting norms, says Advocate General

Government sources have said that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry will set up a committee to study the amendments. The government wants to set up an appelate body where state governments can take appeals.

Welcoming the news, censor board chairperson Leela Samson said, "If the government comes up with this, it is the best news I have heard in a long time. We have been defending ourselves in Chennai against what the attorney said in court defending the state government. I am delighted by Manish Tewari's announcement."

This came even as the Tamil Nadu Advocate General A Navaneetha Krishnan said the interim order was against public interest and that the censor board itself was flouting norms when clearing films. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Krishnan said, "The administrative authorities have taken the decision to uphold the rule of law and to maintain the law and order. The honourable division bench accepted our condition, set aside the order of the honourable single judge, which is against the larger public interest."

Blaming the censor board, Krishnan said, "It is the legal contention that I have taken, in the course of my argument, in my submission. Film certification process is not taking place in accordance to the law, something otherwise is going on."

Censor board chairperson Leela Samson has threatened to sue the Tamil Nadu Advocate General for telling the High Court that the censors didn't follow procedures in certifying 'Vishwaroopam'. "I am shocked at the language used in court. First of all, he said that the certificate is not valid and the advocate for the 23 Muslim group said that the CBFC is a purchasable commodity. Now I object very strongly to this," Samson said.

Reacting to Samson's threat, the Advocate General said, "Definitely the film industry people wanted to get the certificate as early as possible by by-passing the rules and regulations. An inquiry can be conducted by the court pointing some person, so nothing can be done against me for making this kind of argument in the court of law."

Meanwhile, urging his fans to maintain calm, actor and director Kamal Haasan on Wednesday evening said that he was upset and not angry over the row surrounding his latest film, 'Vishwaroopam'. Addressing the media, Haasan said that 'Vishwaroopam' was "just a movie, not worth a public agitation'.

Reports further said Haasan may not approach the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court stay order, as had been earlier claimed. The Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside the interim order given by a judge on Tuesday. The film will not be released in the state till February 6.