Showing a Film Without a Certificate

Last updated on Jun 8, 2022

Showing a film without a certificate to the public is punishable in the following ways.

For showing an uncertified film, the punishment is:

  • minimum jail time of 3 months and maximum of three years, and
  • a fine between ₹20,000 and ₹1,00,000. 

The fine will be ₹20,000 per day if the person continues to show the film after getting a notice. A judge can reduce this punishment, if they have good reasons. By the order of the Court under Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, the filmmaker may also have to forfeit the film to the Government.

For showing an adult or special film to children or people it is not certified for, the punishment is:

  • a minimum of 3 years jail time, and/or
  • fine of up to ₹1,00,000.

For making changes to the film after it’s been certified, the punishment is:

  • a minimum of 3 years jail time, and/or
  • fine of up to ₹1,00,000.

The fine can be up to ₹20,000 per day, if the film plays even after the notice. The Government can also take steps to forfeit the film.

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Censorship is when an authority (such as the government) cuts out or stops the release of information. The official stance of the Indian Government is that it does not censor films, it only certifies them.

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CBFC Actions

If you want to show a film/movie to the general public in a theatre, you have to apply to the CBFC for a certificate. The Board examines the film, and then takes certain actions.