The CBFC decided on Friday to stop re-certifying A-rated films for TV thereby making them ineligible for television screening, reports Delhi Times.
The decision was taken after discussions with the CBFC in accordance with theprovisions of Cinematography Act 1952.
Plans of several top Bollywood production houses may be derailed as a result of this decision as they used to make a large chunk of their profits from advace sale of satellite rights.
"This is a very serious matter", said filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. "The film industry will have to lock horns with the government. We might require judicial intervention, or the entire economics of the film industry will go topsy turvy."
A number of top Bollywood films including Aamir Khan's home production Delhi Belly, Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur and Vikram Bhatt's Hate Story are waiting for CBFC clearance.
The satellite rights of many of these films have already been sold to broadcasts for several crores of rupees.
CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur confirmed that the re-certification has been stopped already.
"We're no longer modifying and certifying films to make them suitable for TV viewers", she said. "This was not a part of the Cinematography Act. We would like it to be included in the Act, but that is up to Parliament", Thakur said.
For the last several years, the CBFC had been modiying A-rated films, both from India and abroad, through a 'Form of Conversion' that was introduced at the board level to facilitate telecast of certain films.
A controversy, however, began last month when objections were raised with the manner in which The Dirty Picture had been modified for TV, and a case was filed against its telecast.
The CBFC then told the film producers that they should specify to TV channels that all modified A-rated films should only be shown after 11 pm.
This suggestion was accepted for The Dirty Picture, but the producers of Jannat 2, fearing a loss of revenue in satellite rights, challenged the CBFC's guidelines in the Film certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).
The FCAT ruled in the production house's favour and told CBFC that it could not decide the slotting of films on television.
It was then that the CBFC decided to stop re-certifying all new A-rated films altogether.
"The modification of A-rated films was a facility that the CBFC was extending to the film industry to help them show their films on television. If we were doing something extra for them, we had a right to attach certain riders to it," said the CBFC CEO.