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CBFC CEO received Rs. 30 lakh for out-of-turn certification, says CBI

CBI officials produceCBFC CEO RakeshKumar in the SessionsCourt in Mumbai onTuesday.

CBI officials produceCBFC CEO RakeshKumar in the SessionsCourt in Mumbai onTuesday.  

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The Central Bureau of Investigation has said that Rakesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of the Central Board of Film Certification, has made over Rs. 30 lakh by issuing film certification out of turn during the seven-and-a-half months he had been in office.

The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry suspended Mr. Kumar. The Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Film Society of India has been given additional charge as CBFC head. Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar ordered that steps be taken to make the film certification process transparent.

Seeking permission for his custodial interrogation, the CBI told a special court here on Tuesday that Kumar used to demand up to Rs. 25,000 for screening of a feature film within seven or eight days and up to Rs. 1.5 lakh for screening within three or four days instead of the routine 15 days. The rate was Rs. 15,000 for screening of a short film within a day and early certification.

The certification was done within three days for a short film, promo, trailer or ad film if Kumar was paid Rs. 2,000, though three days were normally required. The rate was Rs. 10,000 for certification on the same day of application, the agency said. The court remanded Kumar, arrested on Monday on cheating and corruption charges, in CBI custody until Friday.

A senior officer privy to the investigation said all movies, short films and ad films cleared during Kumar’s tenure were under the scanner. They included two big-banner Bollywood movies released recently.

The case came to light after an agent approached the CBI saying he was asked to pay a bribe of Rs. 70,000 for getting certification for the release of his regional movie, Mor Dauki Ke Bihav, on August 15. The CBI said that of the 15 to 20 authorised agents associated with the CBFC, Kumar had a coterie of four or five and used to clear only those movies routed through them.

“If any producer or director approached Kumar through agents outside his coterie, he used to deny certification. He then used to contact the producers and directors and ask them to get in touch with his set of agents,” a senior CBI official told The Hindu. “Another accused, Sarvesh Jaiswal, used to demand the bribe on Kumar’s behalf. The bribe was then delivered at his South Mumbai home.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 9:58:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbfc-ceo-received-rs-30-lakh-for-outofturn-certification-says-cbi/article6332590.ece

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