Justice Surepalli Nanda of the High Court on Monday quashed the censor certificate issued by the Central Board of Film Certification to yet to be released Telugu movie, Vyuham. The film was produced by Ramadhuta creations of Dasari Kiran Kumar, and directed by Ram Gopal Varma.
Allowing the writ petition filed by Telugu Desam Party represented by its general secretary Nara Lokesh challenging the censor certificate given to the film, the judge remitted back the matter to the CBFC’s regional office in Hyderabad and the Board’s Revising Committee. The judge wanted the two respondents to reconsider afresh the matter of issuing a censor certificate, in conformity with the principles of natural justice. Justice Surepalli Nanda said in the order that a final call should be taken on the matter adhering to the relevant provisions of the Cinematograph Act-1952 and the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules-1983 within three weeks.
The judge observed in the verdict that “this court is shocked at the style of functioning of a responsible expert body which is bestowed with responsibility as per the Cinematograph Act-1952” to examine and issue certificates to films suitable for public exhibition. The judge noted that the court was in agreement with the Supreme Court’s observations in a catena of judgments that once a specialised body reviews a film, it’s deemed that the film is in accordance with the law.
“But in the present case the perusal of the original record clearly indicates that the specialised expert body failed in its duty in reviewing the film in its entirety..”, the judge said in the verdict.
The examining committee in its report dated November 1 of 2023 stated that striking resemblances of characters in the film with actual public and political figures/celebrities is one of the reasons for refusing the certificate for the film. The committee also noted that the film is derogatory to a few persons and their political parties.
“This court opines in the present case there is patent illegality or apparent error,” the judge noted. The examining committee unanimously decided to refuse a certificate to the film but finally censor certificate was issued to the film by the revising committee, the verdict said. The judge observed that the “procedure laid down under the statute has been totally ignored by the revising committee”.