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Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, October 13, 2013
Lyrics of film songs should be cleared by the Censor Board, an expert committee has recommended in view of several objections to vulgar wordings. In its report, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry-appointed committee tasked with reviewing the functioning of the Censor Board made the recommendation after taking note of the anger among sections of the society, over the wordings of some of the so called 'item songs', sources said.

"The committee has recommended that while the visual content and the dialogues which precede and succeed such songs is subject to certification, it would be logical to include the lyrics of the song within the ambit of scrutiny," said a source.

It has been suggested that definition of 'film' in the Cinematographic Act should be changed to specifically mention the songs, lyrics and advertising material, the source added.

The panel, which was headed by former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court justice (retired) Mukul Mudgal, has said that while the Cinematograph Act of 1952 was enacted at a time when there were fewer cinema halls, the medium of cinema has now undergone radical transformation.

It said that in the past, successful screening of the film was the sole endeavour. Now, there are a series of parallel events associated with the film, and 'audio release' of the film songs was one of them.

Explaining the rationale behind the suggestion to include lyrics under the ambit of certification, the panel stressed that while film viewing is restricted to age specific audience in theatres, songs are promoted and broadcast in public domain to persons of all ages on radio, at public functions and restaurants.

The sources said the panel has also held that legislation related to sanctioning of films for exhibition is in the domain of the central government and suggested adding provisions in the Cinematograph Act, to make clear that state governments ought not pass orders to suspend exhibition of films.