THE CENSORSHIP OF FILMS ACT, 1963

(XVIII OF 1963)

An Act to provide for the censorship of cinematograph films and for the decertification of certified films certain grounds

Whereas it is expedient to provide for the censorship of cinematograph films and for the decertification of certified films in the interest of law and order, or in the interest of local films industry, or in any other national interest and matters incidental thereto or connected therewith;

And whereas the national interest of Pakistan in relation to planning and co ordination and the achievement of uniformity as are referred to in paragraphs (b) old (c) of clause (2) of Article 131 of the Constitution requires Central legislation in matter,

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1. Short title, extent and commencement.--(1) This Act may be called the Censorship of Films Act, 1963.

(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan .

(3) It shall come into force at once.

**2. Definitions.--**In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject r context:-‑

(a) "authority" means an authority constituted under section 3;

(b) "certificate" means a certificate granted under sub-section (2) of section 4;

(c)"certified film" means a film in respect of which a certificate is granted under sub-section (2) of section 4, or has at any time before the commencement of this Act, 1918 (II of 1918);

(d) "films" means a cinematograph film;


(e) "local area" means an area within which an authority may exercise his powers under Act;

(f) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under section 10; and

(g) "uncertified film" means a film in respect of which no certificate has been granted, and included a film which is deemed to be uncertified film under any provisions of this Act.

3. Constitution of authority.--(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute as many authorities as it may think fit for the purpose of examining and certifying film for public exhibition, and shall declare the area in respect of which each such authority shall exercise its powers under this Act.

(2) Where an authority consists of a board of two or more persons, not more than one-half of its members shall be persons in the service of Government.

4. Certification of films.-- (1) No authority shall, accept any feature film not
'rig a foreign film for the purpose of examining its suitability for public exhibition if the total length thereof exceeds 12 thousand feet, except where on a request from the film producer, the Provincial Government has, for any special reason, previously agreed to relax the said limit.

(2) If an authority after examination considers that a film is suitable for public exhibition it shall grant a certificate to that effect to the person applying for the same and cause the film to be a marked in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3) A certificate granted under sub-section (2) shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be valid for the whole of Pakistan , for such period, if any, as may be specified in the certificate.

(4) Where any period is specified under sub-section (3), the authority may on application in this behalf, extend such period, on the period so extended, or dispense with the period so specified or extended.

(5) If an authority is of the opinion that a film is not suitable for public exhibition in Pakistan, or is suitable for such exhibition only for a specified period, it shall inform the person applying for the certificate of its decision, and such person may, within thirty days of the date of receipt of such decision by him, appeal to the Central Government against the decision and the appeal shall be disposed of in the prescribed manner.

(6) If an appeal is rejected, the Central Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, declare then the film to which the appeal relates shall be deemed to be an uncertified film in respect of the whole of Pakistan or, where that appeal relates. to a decision under sub-section (3), shall be valid only for the period specified thereon, or for the period extended under sub-section(4), or for such period as may be specified in the order.

5. Suspension of certificates.--(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of section 4, an authority may:--

(a) before a certified film is publicly exhibited within its local area, require it to be exhibited before authority; an

(b) if it is of opinion that the film should not be publicly exhibited within its local area, by order, suspend pending the orders of the Central Government under sub-section (4), the certificate in respect of that film granted by another authority.

(2) If a District Magistrate is of the opinion that a certified film should not be publicly exhibited within this district, he may, by order, suspend, pending the orders of Central Government under sub-section (4), the certificate in respect of that films granted by an authority.

(3) A certified film shall, during the period of suspension of its certificate under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), be deemed to be an uncertified film in respect of the local area or district within the jurisdiction or the authority or District Magistrate making the order of suspension.

(4) A copy of any order of suspension made under sub-section (1) or sub. Section (2), together with a statement of the reasons therefor, shall forthwith be forwarded to the Central Government by the authority or discharge the order or, the District Magistrate making the order, and the Central Government may either by notification in the official Gazette, direct that the film shall be deemed to be an uncertified film in respect of a Province or such area as may be specified in the notification.

(5) Where, on receipt of a reference under sub-section (4), or of its own motion, the Central Government is of the opinion that a certified film should not be publicly exhibited in Pakistan, it may, by notification in the official Gazette, direct that such film shall be deemed to be an uncertified film in respect of the whole of Pakistan.

6. Exhibition of certified films etc.--(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Cinematograph Act, 1918 (II of 1918), or in any other law for the time being in force, the Central Government shall prescribe the places or class of places licensed for exhibition of cinematograph films where, and the period or period for which, any certified film or class of certified films may be exhibited.

(2) In respect of places prescribed under sub-section (1), the Central Government may by rules provide for the regulation of proper seating, sanitary, booking and other arrangements.

**7. Power to decertify certified films.--**Where the Central Government is of the opinion that a certified film, or class of certified films should, in the interest of law and order, or in the interest of local film industry, or in any other national interest, be decertified in respect of the whole or any part in Pakistan, it may, of its own motion, by notification in the official Gazette, direct that such film or class of films, shall be deemed to be uncertified film or films in respect of the whole of Pakistan, or such area or areas, as may be specified in the notification.

8. Penalty.-- (1) Whoever exhibits an uncertified film or a certified film which does not show that mark of an authority or which has been altered or tampered with in any way since such mark was affixed thereto, or contravenes any other provision of this Act or the Rules made thereunder, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees and in the case of a continuing offence, with a further fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for each day during which the offence continues.

(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence punishable under sub-section (1) in respect of any film, the Court passing the sentence may further direct that the film shall be forfeited to the Central Government.

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence punishable under sub-section (1) in respect of a place licensed for the exhibition of cinematograph films, the nun passing the sentence may further direct that notwithstanding anything in the licence relating to such place, no cinematograph film shall be exhibited in that place for such period not exceeding three months, as may be specified by the Court.

9. Procedure.--(1) No Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act, save on complaint by an authority or an officer if authorized by it in this behalf

(2) Where a person is guilty of an offence punishable under this Act is a
company or other body corporate managing director, director, manager, secretary
cotter officer or agent thereof shall, unless he proves that the offence was without his knowledge or that he exercised due diligence to prevent its commission, be deemed to be guilty of such offence.

10. Power to make rules.--(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purpose of this Act.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, rules made under this section may provide for-‑

(a) the manner in which films in respect of which certificate are granted, shall be marked;

(b) the manner in which appeal shall be disposed of;

(c) the procedure of the authorities and all matters ancillary thereto and the fees to he charged by them;

(d) the appointment of officers subordinate to be authorized and the regulation of the powers and duties of such officer; and

(e) any other matter which by this Act is to be prescribed.

**11. Power to exempt.--**The Central Government may, by order in writing, exempt, subject to such conditions and restrictions, if any, as it may impose, any film from all or any of the provisions of this Act.

**12. Delegation of powers.--**The Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, delegate all or any of the powers' exercisable by it under this Act to such authority or other person, as may be specified in the notification.

**13. Amendment of Act II of 1918.--**In the Cinematograph Act, 1918 (II of 1918):--

(1) For the expression "appropriate Government" wherever occurring except in sections 2 and 7 thereof the expression "Provincial Government" shall be substituted.

(2) In section 2, the paragraphs defining the expression "appropriate Government" shall be omitted;

(3) In section 5, in sub-section 2, for the word, and figure "section 7" th words and figures "the Censorship of Films Act, 1963" shall ' substituted;

(4) Section 7 shall stand repealed; and

(5) In section 8, in sub-section (2):-‑

(a) clause (a), the word "and" shall be added at the end; and

(b) clauses (b) and (bb) shall be omitted.

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