Directors have tried to bribe me to pass films: Pahlaj Nihalani

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Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has alleged that there have been instances when filmmakers have tried to bribe him to retain certain scenes in their films.

Nihalani claims some people try to get away with their work by bribing.

When asked if filmmakers tried to bribe him to retain scenes in their films, Nihalani told reporters, “Yes, because people never leave their habits. They want to get away with the work by hook or crook. Somebody had offered me (bribe) also. But I can’t give names.

“They want to get away with the job, its nobody’s fault… Why blame babus, once we feel our work should be done we don’t mind paying money and get away… There are people who don’t have shame and do this.”

Nihalani said his staff in the CBFC does not accept any gifts and the corruption in the board is now “zero”.

“Today I can tell you, my staff has refused even the Diwali gifts we get, I am proud of them. There is zero corruption in the board.”

He was speaking at the launch of the new cover of Society Magazine.

A committee has been formed, headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, which will look into the revamp of the functioning of Censor Board which has been mired in controversies in recent past.

Nihalani said Benegal is an intelligent person who will do the “right” thing.

“Shyam Benegal is very intelligent, he knows the functioning of CBFC and had faced problems with his movies too… I think he will do the right thing in the right place.”

Censor Board was termed “sanskari” owing to his strict rules on censorship. Nihalani said he considers the title his achievement as he only followed what was in the rule book.

“I am working by the rule book, I am following that. It is my job… Whatever people call me, it is my achievement. Benegal committee has been formed, now they will make rules and whatever I get, I’ll follow.”

Recently, Nihalani had slammed ‘Aligarh’ director Hansal Mehta and said the filmmaker is making an issue out of the ‘A’ certificate given to the movie’s trailer just to garner publicity.

When asked if he has seen the movie, Nihalani said, “I haven’t seen the movie. But box office and people will decide it (fate of the movie)… My personal opinion won’t count. I am the Chairman, my panel members are there and they had cleared the movie without any cuts and had given A certificate because he had asked it..There was not a single cut in the movie.”

The Censor chief also claimed there are some filmmakers who are trying to gain mileage by criticising the board.

“Since the time I was appointed last year, I have cleared 2,300 movies only in Mumbai. Out of that 70 per cent have been given U, U/A rating without any cuts.

“There are three-four producers, whether I was there or before me, who are always fighting with the Censor Board. They are getting mileage by criticising CBFC because today, the marketing is very costly.”

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Directors have tried to bribe me to pass films: Pahlaj Nihalani

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