Six months after applying for a censor certificate, directors Vinay Shukla and Khusboo Ranka’s documentary on Arvind Kejriwal, An Insignificant Man, has been passed by the Film Certification Tribunal. The documentary was passed without any cuts or the muting of any names, and without requiring a no objection certificate from any of the political figures depicted, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kejriwal and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Mumbai Mirror reported.
The filmmakers had applied for a certificate in February. The Pahlaj Nihalani-headed CBFC had asked for all references to the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress Party to be deleted and said that no political figures can be showed without permission.
The trubunal agreed with the filmmakers’ point of view that an NOC would defeat the purpose of a documentary. “There is considerable merit in the submission of the Appellant that requiring NOC from public personalities would cull the documentary cinema, rather render the making of a documentary on political scenario nigh impossible”, the tribunal stated. “In these circumstances, requiring a filmmaker to obtain NoC from the affected parties or characters in the film to whom references are made, is tantamount to the CBFC abdicating its statutory functions. This is neither desirable nor permissible at law.”
About muting the names of political parties, the FCAT said, “Public interest is best served in upholding the Right to Freedom of Expression rather than protecting an undeserved reputation.”