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Censor Board CEO cleared controversial Kaum De Heere for Rs 1 lakh

Thursday, 21 August 2014 - 6:25am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

The Central Board of Film Certification CEO, Rakesh Kumar has cleared the controversial Punjabi movie 'Kaum De Heere' that reportedly glorifies the assassins of the former prime minister Indira Gandhi with 'A' certification allegedly after accepting a bribe of Rs one lakh in June.

What is the case?
The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Kumar, an agent Shripati Mishra and advisory panel member of the Censor Board Sarvesh Jaiswal on Monday while investigating the allegations of an authorised censor certification agent that Kumar, an Indian Railways Officer, was demanding bribe of Rs70,000 through another agent for issuing certificate for a regional film from Chattisgarh, 'Mor Dauki Ke Bihav.'

What is the movie Kaum De Heere about?
The movie is said to be based on the lives of Bhai Kehar Singh, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, the assassins of Indira Gandhi. All three have been recognized as martyrs of the Sikh nation by Akal Takht Sahib. The film was banned earlier this year and could not get a CBFC clearance as well. According to CBI, Kumar cleared the movie in last week of June after accepting the bribe. Recently, Intelligence Bureau had alerted home ministry claiming that 'this movie, if released, could trigger tension among Hindus and Sikhs.' The movie is ready for release this week.

How did Kumar operate?
Mishra during his interrogation revealed that he allegedly collected bribes of around Rs5 lakh on behalf of Kumar. Mishra had also paid Jaiswal Rs3.5lakh. Kumar joined CBFC as CEO in January this year. Another Censor Board representative Krishna Palli told the investigating agency, that Palli has collected around Rs18-25 lakh in the last eight months on behalf of Kumar. The CBI told the court that Kumar used to issue certificates out of turn and incriminating documents were seized from him. CBI recovered 33 watches of expensive brands — Rolex, Rado — from Kumar's home. According to CBI, Kumar used to demand Rs1.5 lakh for screening a film in 3 to 4 days, Rs25,000 for screening in 7 to 8 days and Rs15,000 for a short film.

What action has the CBI taken?
The CBI is likely to examine 50 to 60 agents who represent CBFC and most of the films that managed to get certificates, during Kumar's tenure would be under CBI scanner. However, as of now CBI is not naming any big league producer or film house, whose movies got certification under his tenure.

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