A Parliamentary panel examining a legislation, which seeks to prohibit indecent representation of women in new forms of communications like mobile and internet, has favoured inclusion of filmmakers, directors and trade bodies under the ambit of the legislation.
Raising concerns over portrayal of women in films despite categorical guidelines, the committee also suggested the censor board consider some remedial or preventive measures regarding the quality of a film.
The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2012 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December, 2012 and was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD for examination.
The Bill seeks to enlarge the scope of the Indecent Representation Act, 1986 and intended to bring new forms of communication like internet, mobile etc within the ambit of the Act so as to regulate indecent representation of women in the country.
In its report, the committee said a large number of stakeholders had strongly advocated before it that there was an urgency to review, evaluate and regulate the content of the serials and shows on the television due to its reach and penetration in Indian homes.
Following this, the committee had taken up the issue with the Central Board for Film Certification which clarified that the Cinematograph Act had its origins in the Constitution and was more or less a regulator and hence cannot be brought under the ambit of the Act.
"Bringing films and TV serials within the ambit of this Bill would mean encroaching upon the jurisdiction of the Central Board for Film Certification as the mandate of certification lies with the Board," the committee in its report said.
However, the Board pointed out that some of the provisions could be brought into the Cinematograph Act for effective regulation.
The committee has asked the Ministry of Women and Child Development to discuss the issue with the censor board and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Committee also noted that despite categorical guidelines, many of the films certified by the Board do not adhere to the same and depict scenes which are regressive in nature and portray women in bad light and indecently represent them.