Rakesh Kumar, the chief executive officer of the Central Board of Film Certification, who is in police custody for allegedly accepting a bribe had a fixed rate card and had laid down a set of rules to issue censor certificates. Kumar would charge Rs 1.5 lakh to pass a film in jiffy and would deal only through his agents, unless the film belonged to big banner.
“If the producers were willing to wait, Kumar would charge Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 to issue censor certificates in a week or two, while he would demand illegal gratification of Rs 15,000 for short films. Also he would ask for money within 24 hours of issuing the certificate," sources in the CBI told Zee News.
“Along with the cash, Kumar would also demand expensive watches and gift items. But it was his condition that the gift item match his rate card. CBI has recovered 33 expensive watches including Rolex and Rado and the amount of these is said to be more than Rs 10 lakh.”
Interestingly, Kumar had his own rules to accept the illegal gratification. Often, he would not deal directly with the directors, while delivery of the amount would happen at his official residence located at Cuff Parade near Badhwar Park or in a couple of coffee shops at Bandra or Churchgate.
Here's how he did it:
* Small budget and small banner films would be dealt by the agents.
* If the film belonged to a big banner, or was a big budget movie, he would deal with it himself
* He would charge additional amounts, depending on the urgency and the controversies surrounding the films
* Earlier, the transaction would take place after 30 days of issuing of the certificate, but later he wanted money to be paid to him within 24 hours of issuing the certificate.
“Kumar had given the information of his three lockers in which he had kept his investment and fixed deposits. But the CBI has found that two more bank lockers belong to him and are in Mumbai and Vadodara,” said the source.
Along with this, Rakesh Kumar also has non-moveable properties in Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi and Bihar. These include flats, bungalows, plots worth crores of rupees. The source further added, “He would delay issuing the certificate, if the directors came to censor board directly instead of coming through his agents. To make more money, he would threaten to cut scenes or delete songs.”
The individuals that CBI will be investigating along with Kumar includes top five Bollywood directors and distributors. The movies cleared by the Censor Board CEO Rakesh Kumar are also under the scanner. The source also said that if those who have paid Kumar refuse to become government witnesses, then the case would also be filed against them.
CBI, on August 17, had arrested Censor Board CEO Rakesh Kumar for allegedly demanding Rs 70,000 as bribe for clearing a regional movie.