Dirty Picture telecast barred on advice of CBFC

New Delhi: Facing criticism for barring Sony TV from telecasting Vidya Balan-starrer "The Dirty Picture" during daytime, the Information and Broadcasting ministry today said that the decision was based on the advice of Censor Board which wants `UA` rated films out of prime time.

"The CBFC, which is an independent statutory body, had held that the UA certificate given to the movie after several cuts meant that parental guidance was a must. The ministry was simply acting on the advice," a senior I&B official told PTI. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) wants the ministry to tell all channels which are "planning to telecast `UA` rated movies in near future" to do so only after 11 pm.

Officials said that the CBFC advice was sought after an April 19 order of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had asked the ministry to ensure that the telecast of "The Dirty Picture" did not violate guidelines. Senior officials said that though on the advice of the CBFC, the telecast of "The Dirty Picture" was stopped, it was yet to be decided if their recommendation that all `UA` rated films be barred from general viewing hours can be accepted.

Sources said that since the subject of the film was such that it demanded a mature audience, it was decided that it should not be shown during general viewing hours. The ministry`s notice to Sony on Saturday to not telecast the movie before 11PM had attracted criticism in some quarters which felt that the government was trying to muzzle TV content. The film`s director Milan Luthria and actor Tusshar Kapoor came out strongly against the government`s decision.

The film was scheduled to be telecast at 12 noon and 8PM on Sunday. "The Dirty Picture", for which Balan won a National award, was originally rated `A` (adult only) but was later given a `UA` (personal guidance) rating after it went through 59 audio and visual cuts in order to be telecast on the small screen.