At a time when movies are going under the knife on direction of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), one film escaped the blow indirectly. A documentary on the life and times of New Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has finally been passed by CBFC after being made to run around for some time for certification. ‘An Insignificant Man’ co-directed by Vinay Shukla and Khushboo Ranka can finally hit screens.
"The FCAT order is out and it is overwhelmingly in our favor. This is very rare for a political film like ours," read a statement issued on behalf of the film's makers.
The documentary was previously stuck in the certification process when former controversial director of CBFC, Pahlaj Nihalani asked the filmmakers to get ‘No Objection Certificate’ from a long list of people. The list included names like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and Kejriwal himself, to get a go-ahead for the release.
"The Tribunal has held that the requirement of seeking an NOC from political personages and others as a pre-condition for certification of the documentary is wholly unsustainable and not permissible by law,” the statement further added.
It was then that the duo approached the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). The body after reviewing the claims prompted CBFC to give a U/A certificate to the film.
The ruling also does not require the film to silence any mention of BJP or Congress in a rare upholding of Right to Freedom of Expression."In these circumstances, requiring a filmmaker to obtain NOC from the affected parties or characters in the film to whom references are made, tantamount to CBFC abdicating its statutory functions. This is neither desirable nor permissible at law,” read the statement.