At least three more agents of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and a few film producers are on CBI scanner in the cash-for-clearance scam. These agents are alleged to be close to CBFC CEO Rakesh Kumar. The agents and some panel members would approach producers, who desperately wanted their films released on time without 'item' songs being cut, and offer to get the movie released intact for money. Once the bribe was paid, CBFC would clear the movie expeditiously.
Who is Rakesh Kumar?
He is the chief executive officer of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Why was he arrested?
The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Kumar for allegedly demanding and accepting money from film producers in connivance with CBFC agents and panel members for speedy certification of their movies.
When was he arrested?
Rakesh Kumar was booked on August 14 after a CBFC agent and a panel member were arrested for allegedly arranging a bribe of Rs 70,000 on his behalf. Kumar was arrested on August 18.
Why were panel member and agent arrested?
Panel member Sarvesh Jaiswal and agent Shripati Mishra were arrested after they had allegedly accepted money from a Chattisgarhi producer whose film certification had been delayed.
How fast would a movie be certified on money being paid?
The Central Board of Film Certification would certify a movie in two to three days time once money was paid.
Normally, how many days does it take?
CBFC clears a movie normally in a month's time.
What was the mode of operating?
"The biggest prey of Kumar and his associates were producers who had declared that their movies would be released on a specified date. Such producers would desperately want their movies certified on time. CBFC agents would then step in and assure the production house that they would get CBFC clearance in time for the scheduled (release) date. And for the 'speedy job', they would demand money," said a CBI officer.
What would happen if money was not paid?
"The common threat was to chop off 'item' songs. Besides, clearance was delayed till the last moment, making producers frantic enough to cough up money to get the certificate. Not releasing a movie on time can result in a producer incurring huge loss," a senior official said.
How was the job executed?
After allegedly accepting bribe, Kumar would clear a movie in quick time. "For those producers who had paid money, screening would be arranged and suggestions on 'cuts' made immediately. In some cases, the process that normally takes a month, has been wrapped up in just a couple of days," the officer said.
What was revealed during interrogation?
Kumar and the other two arrested revealed that some top names in Bollywood had paid money to get their movies cleared on time. CBI is now independently verifying these claims to see if they have any value as evidence, sources said. It also emerged that producers of several recently released movies starring top stars have had to pay to get their films cleared with 'item' songs in tact, sources said.