The Indian Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has directed the Central Board Film Certification (CBFC) to grant an adults-only A certificate to the Hindi film Lipstick Under My Burkha with cuts.
Upholding the appeal filed by the film's director Alankrita Srivastava and producer Prakash Jha, the Tribunal noted that there was no violation of guidelines. Neither the visuals nor the dialogues in the film were contemptuous of racial,
religious or other groups, as claimed by the CBFC. the tribunal also refuted other CBFC claims by noting: There was no targeting of women of certain community or religion.
The Tribunal explained that the examining committee and revising committee of the CBFC misdirected themselves in denying certification on the ground that the story of the film was women oriented. Tribunal head Justice Manmohan Sarin said:
There cannot be any embargo on a film being women oriented or containing sexual fantasies and expression of the inner desires of women.
The entire matter has to be considered in the perspective of the theme of the film, the story, the characters and the overall impact of the film. As a matter of general approach if the aspect of sexual desires and their expression is sensitively handled
without bringing coarseness, vulgarity or obscenity, pandering prurient tendencies, then it is not to be disallowed.
During hearing of the matter, the appellant offered voluntary cuts or reduction in the length of the sex scenes or others which may have been considered unduly long or unnecessary.
However all is not freedom and enlightenment at the FCAT, the tribunal suggested that the sex scenes should by censored as should one occurrence of an 'inappropriate' word.