17/01/2015 8:16 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Government Accepts Leela Samson's Resignation, Ira Bhaskar To Follow


NEW DELHI: The government has accepted the resignation of Leela Samson from the post of chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), a senior official tonight said.

"The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has accepted Samson's resignation," PTI quoted the ministry official saying.

Samson had on Thursday triggered a controversy after she levelled allegations of coercion and interference by the ministry and said she had decided to quit the censor board.

Her resignation came in the wake of Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) clearing Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's movie "Messenger of God" for release even though the CBFC had withheld it.

The ministry refuted Samson's charges and said that it has always maintained a distance from the entire process of film certification.

About FCAT's nod to the film, Samson had said, "I hear so. Nothing in writing yet. It is a mockery of CBFC. My resignation is final. Have informed (I&B) secretary."

Ira Bhaskar, another Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) member, resigned on Friday after Leela Samson stepped down as the board's chairperson.

Bhaskar cited the discrepancies in board as the reason for her deciding to quit.

"It is a culmination of process which has been going for a while. What is the point of extension if we are not able to function?" she was quoted by ANI.

Bhaskar said there has been no board meeting for a year.

"We are not dependent on the board. We are professionals in our own right," Bhaskar said.

Bhaskar further said that she did not the exact controversy surrounding the film 'Messenger of God' featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

"I don't know what the exact controversy is over this Rahim film. I don't know," Bhaskar said.

"We always believe in dialogue and collaborative action that we should work together with the government," she added.

However, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore earlier in the day said that the government has hands off policy when it comes to decision making at the Censor Board.

The MoS said that the entire Censor Board and its members were placed by the previous government.

"I would like to bring to the notice of everyone that the entire Censor Board and all its members were placed by the previous government and none of them have been changed, no additional members has been put in," he said.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is a statutory body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952.