“How did the censor board pass this movie?”

This question, brimming with outrage, was asked several times during Leela Samson’s tenure as chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification. It was posed at various times since she took over in 2011 by state institutions, political groups and self-appointed guardians of morality. “Various bodies feel that they have the right to negate the decision taken by the CBFC,” said film professor Ira Bhaskar, who was among the ten board members who resigned on Friday in solidarity with Samson’s decision to step down from her post. “The Board needs to be empowered to take decisions” without interference, she added.

The immediate flashpoint was the decision of the appellate tribunal to overturn the board's decision not to clear MSG:The Messenger of God , the debut film by Dera Sacha Sauda godman Ram Rahim Singh.

Here is a look at other films that proved contentious over Samson's term.

1.  Delhi Belly (2011)
The slacker comedy produced by Aamir Khan, and starring his nephew Imran Khan along with Vir Das and Kunaal Roy Kapur,  put the Hindi vulgarism “Bose DK” in a song that was played on radio stations and television stations for several weeks before the movie’s release. Two sequences feature sexual intercourse. Delhi Belly was released with an Adults- only certificate without any cuts, but the Board acquired a reputation for being “lenient” towards Bollywood productions, especially those backed by A-listers such as Aamir Khan.

2. Aarakshan (2011)
The trailer of Prakash Jha’s movie on caste-based quotas in educational institutions was enough to spark the ire of groups within and outside the government. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes announces its opposition to the star-heavy political drama, which included Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Manoj Bajpayee;  Dalit groups were angry with the casting of Khan as a member of their caste; upper caste groups in Rajasthan protested that the film denigrated them. To slightly complicate matters, the movie’ s writer, Anjum Rajabali, was a member of the CBFC and its unofficial spokesperson.

“Aarakshan was a complete knee-jerk reaction, since the SC Commission hadn’t even seen the film," Ira Bhaskar said. “It is actually pro-reservations and pro-education and equal opportunity for all.”

3. Grand Masti (2013)
Indra Kumar’s sex comedy, which was modelled on the Hollywood franchise American Pie, attracted the loudest anguish.  Packed with risqué humour and suggestive visuals gags, this chronicle of the misadventures of three married men determined to be unfaithful to their partners was passed with an Adults only certificate

4. En Dino Muzzafarnagar (2014)
The CBFC refused to give a certificate to Shubhradeep Chakravorty and Meera Chaudhary’s investigation of the circumstances that led to the communal riots in Muzzafarnagar in 2013. Chakravorty died last year, and the film has been re-submitted for certification.

5. The Textures of Loss (2014)
After the CBFC refused him a certificate, Pankaj Butalia had to go to the Supreme Court to attempt to obtain clearance for his documentary on the impact of the separatist struggle in Kashmir on its people.

6. Haider (2014)
Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, set in Kashmir, explores the Army’s role in influencing local politics and carrying out extrajudicial interrogations. The movie was passed only after Bhardwaj agreed to 41 cuts. He had to remove scenes of torture, expletives, and visuals of corpses.