Cinematograph Amendment Act 1959

Timelines: All, India Categories: 1950s, Country, Decade, Government, India, Law
Date: 1959


The Cinematograph Amendment Act 1959 included a range of minor revisions to the existing legislation. Someshwar Bhowmik (2009) suggests that it was important for explicitly connecting in law the principles of freedom of speech and expression and those for censoring film. The Central Government was also legitimated in sanctioning films for public exhibition according to principles it determined. The important clauses in these regards were included as section 5B:
“1. A film shall not be certified for public exhibition if, in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the film or any part of it is against the interests of the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence.
2. Subject to the provisions contained in sub-section (1), the Central Government may issue such directions as it may think fit setting out the principles which shall guide the authority competent to grant certificates under this Act in sanctioning films for public exhibition.” – Liam Grealy

Further reading:
– Bhowmik, S. (2009). Cinema and censorship: The politics of control in India. New Delhi: Orient Black Swan.

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