Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh during a press conference to promote his upcoming film `MSG: The Messenger of God` in Lucknow, on Jan 10, 2015. ( IANS)

Censor Board Chief Leela Samson Resigns Over “Interference, Corruption” in Department

In protest of clearing the objections over film “MSG, the Messenger of God” by Appellate Tribunal and alleging of interference and corruption at the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Censor Board Chief Leela Samson resigned today, on Friday.

The controversial movie, starring Dera Sachcha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim, had been found as “not suitable for public viewing” by the censor board. However, when an appeal was given to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal by the producers, the objection was cleared.

In regard to the incident, she reportedly said that she is concerned that the tribunal cleared the movie, in haste. She said, “It is a mockery of Central Board of Film Certification. My resignation is final. Have informed the (I&B) Secretary.” Meanwhile, as per reports, the film is all set to release in theaters on Friday.

Samson has also pointed her fingers to the “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organization, who are appointed by the ministry.”

Speaking to NDTV, Samson said, “However, recent cases of interference in the working of the CBFC by the ministry, through an ‘additional charge’ CEO, and corrupt panel members has caused a degradation of those values that the members of this Board of CBFC and Chairperson stood for.”

Meanwhile, supporting Samson, another member of Censor board, Nandini Sardesai, said reportedly that it was very unusual that the film had been cleared by the Tribunal in less than 24 hours.

Sardesai reportedly said, “We all saw the movie. It was the collective decision of eight of us that the movie was not suitable for public viewing. Usually the Tribunal takes 15 to 30 days to clear a film, but this case was cleared within 24 hours.” She has also backed Samson in her allegation about corruption in the I&B department.

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