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I&B ministry assures strict action on actor Vishal’s corruption allegations against CBFC, deputes officer to Mumbai for investigation

"The issue of corruption in CBFC brought forth by actor Vishal is extremely unfortunate. The Government has zero tolerance for corruption and the strictest action will be taken against anyone found involved," the ministry said

On 29th September 2023, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting assured Tamil actor Vishal that the strictest action would be taken against the alleged corruption in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Mumbai. On 28th September, Vishal alleged that officials in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in Mumbai took a bribe of Rs 6.5 lakh for the censor certification of the Hindi version of his film ‘Mark Antony’.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting wrote in a post on the social media platform X, “The issue of corruption in CBFC brought forth by actor Vishal is extremely unfortunate. The Government has zero tolerance for corruption and the strictest action will be taken against anyone found involved. A senior officer from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has been deputed to Mumbai to conduct an inquiry today itself. We request everyone to cooperate with the Ministry, by providing information about any other instance of harassment by CBFC at [email protected].”

On Thursday, 28th September, Vishal took to X and dropped a video in which he accused the officials from the CBFC of demanding a bribe of Rs 6.5 lakh in exchange for screening and granting a U/A certificate to his film.

“Corruption being shown on the silver screen is fine. But not in real life. Can’t digest it. Especially in govt offices. And even worse happening in the CBFC Mumbai office. Had to pay 6.5 lacs for my film Mark Antony Hindi version. 2 transactions. 3 Lakhs for screening and 3.5 Lakhs for certificate,” he wrote He appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into the matter.

“Never faced this situation ever in my career. Had no option but to pay the concerned mediator #Menaga coz too much at stake since the movie released today. Bringing this to the notice of Hon Chief Minister of Maharashtra and my Hon PM Narendra Modiji. Doing this is not for me but for future producers. NOT HAPPENING. My hard-earned money gone for corruption ??? No way. Evidence down for all to hear. Hope truth prevails as always. GB,” Vishal added.

Vishal also mentioned that he gave ₹3 lakh to Jeeja Ramdas and ₹3.5 lakh to M Rajan. He also shared their bank account details.

However, director Ashoke Pandit, a former member of CBFC, has said that CBFC does not have officials with these names. While talking to news agency ANI, film director Ashoke Pandit said, “There are two names he takes in his statement, M Rajan and Jija Ramdas. As per my knowledge, these two are not the employees of CBFC. Accusing a CBFC officer at this stage is not right. But if allegations are being made, then we demand a CBI inquiry because the allegations are very serious. It is obvious that any officer who demands money will not take it (directly) into his account. These two people he named should be asked if they have taken the money on someone’s behalf at the CBFC. High power inquiry should be initiated in this case.”

Even if Jeeja Ramdas and M Rajan are not CBFC employees, as said by Pandit, it is possible that they received the money on behalf of officials. Govt officials are known to receive bribe money through other people.

Ashoke Pandit also said that he will be writing a letter on behalf of IFTDA (Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association) to CBFC Chairperson Prasoon Joshi demanding CBI probe into the charges.

Mark Antony is a science fiction action comedy film which was released on September 15. It is directed by Adhik Ravichandran and produced by S Vinod Kumar under Mini Studio. The movie stars Vishal and S J Suryah in dual roles. The movie is doing well at the Tamil box office, and the makers are readying to release its Hindi version.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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