Jailors to edit docus shot in prisons!?

Outside the prison plenty of young men gathers when it starts to get dark in Kota, India, Wednesday, 2 april, 2008. Patrick Malluzzo wrongly imprisoned in India on a drugs charge.

Filmmakers shooting documentaries inside prisons will have to deposit Rs one lakh as security and leave their recordings with Jail Superintendents for three days to let them delete objectionable portions.

This is part of a fresh guideline issued on Friday to streamline the entry of filmmakers, journalists, activists and researchers after a controversy erupted over a BBC documentary — India’s Daughter — directed by Leslee Udwin on the December 16 gangrape case in which she interviewed convicts in Tihar jail.

Viewing “very seriously” the unauthorised meetings with prisoners or visitors misusing the permission to meet their own benefit, the Union Home Ministry said entry is not ordinarily allowed but permission could be granted to any individual, journalist or others for making documentaries, doing research, writing articles or interviews.

The state governments will decide on the applications after checking whether the article or documentary creates a positive social impact or whether it is related to prison reforms. While an Indian will have to apply 30 days before the date of visit while a foreigner will have to do it 60 days before.

The visitor will have to sign a declaration that he will abide by the guideline and deposit Rs one lakh, which could be forfeited if any guideline is violated. One may face legal action also for violation of undertaking. However, the state government can dispense with or modify this requirement in case of research studies undertaken by students.

For filmmakers, only camera and tape recorder or equipments directly connected with the purpose of the visit will be allowed. Tripod, mobile phones, papers, book and pen should not be allowed. Jail Superintendent or in his absence, the second most senior official, should accompany such teams and intervene on-the-spot if he feels that an interview is not desirable.

“After the visit is complete, the visitors shall handover all their equipments like Handycams, Dictaphone, Camera, tape recorder  or any other equipment to the Jail Superintendent for a period of three days. All precautions should be taken to ensure that the visitor does not leave the jail premises with the recordings. The Jail Superintendent then shall see/hear all the recordings carefully and if he finds anything objectionable, he shall delete that portion.  The said equipment after careful scrutiny/editing may be returned after three days to the visitor,” the guidelines said.

Before the release of documentary or article or research, the final version should be submitted to state government for NOC.

Inmates rest at a workshop, where mannequins are produced by prisoners working for the Giotto cooperative, at a state maximum security jail in Padova, December 17, 2007. Picture taken December 17, 2007. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli (ITALY)   BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE

** Submit application at least 30 days before the date of visit. 60 days for foreigners. In case of article by print media, application may be submitted 7 days before

** Jail Superintendent should send the application with his comment to state, which should consult IB. Consult MEA or MHA’s Foreigners’ Division in case of foreigners’ applications

** Visitor should submit security deposit of Rs one lakh. Students doing research could be given relaxation.

** Handycam/Camera/Recorder can be allowed but no tripod, pen, paper, book

** Jail Superintendent should accompany the visitor. He should intervene if he feels a certain video clip or an interview is not desirable.

** Visitors should hand over all their equipment like camera, recorder and other equipments for three days.

** Jail Superintendent should see/hear all recordings. He should delete portions that are objectionable. Equipment could be returned after three days.

** NOC needed for release of documentary, article, research paper.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on July 25, 2015)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: