Special panel’s role was advisory: CBFC chief on ‘Padmavati’

Mumbai, Jan 1  Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Prasoon Joshi on Monday said a special panel for the certification of controversial movie “Padmavati” was appointed for an advisory purpose, and that the final decision was always with the censor board.

Joshi’s statement comes in the wake of criticism amidst reports that the CBFC committee decided to certify “Padmavati” with U/A certificate subject to five modications — including a title change — despite opposition from some members of the special panel.

He said: “Role of special Panel was only advisory in nature. Let’s be clear that the role of the special panel was to give advice and add perspective to the CBFC’s regular panel for which the CBFC is appreciative and thankful. The final decision stays with the CBFC Commitee. The special panel were aware of this as well,” Joshi said.

“In the decision of CBFC, some parts of the advice do find reflection, but as iterated the final decision for certification is with the CBFC committee which has taken a pragmatic and balanced view. Unnecessary controversy should not be made out of it.”

Last week, the CBFC announced its decision following a meeting in the presence of Joshi, and with a special panel comprising Arvind Singh from Udaipur, historian Chandramani Singh and Professor K.K. Singh of Jaipur University.

On December 31, 2017, Mahendra Singh Mewar, the 76th descendant of the Mewar dynasty and a former Lok Sabha member, slammed Joshi for carrying out “public deception” with the certification of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial.

Mahendra Singh said in a letter: “One set of panellists was invited and then the film was clandestinely shown to another set.”

“The impression being given is that the panellists who have seen the film are in agreement with the movie being released with the above stated modifications. It is, however, reliably learnt that none of the panellists is in agreement with the film,” he added.