Tamil actor Vishal posted on social media on September 28 about how he was forced to pay a bribe of Rs 6.5 lakh to get the CBFC certificate for the Hindi version of his film, Mark Anthony.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcast stated that it would look into the issue and action would be taken against the officials named by Vishal. The latest development is that on October 5 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an official corruption complaint against the three CBFC officials, namely Merlin Menaga, Rajan M and Jeeja Ramdas.
Vishal had posted details on X (formerly twitter) of the amounts given to the CBFC officials along with the bank details where the money was deposited. He alleged that Merlin Menaga had been given Rs 20000, Rajan M Rs 3 lakh and Jeeja Ramdas Rs 3.5 lakh.
The Kollywood actor wrote, “#Corruption being shown on the silver screen is fine. But not in real life. Can’t digest. Especially in govt offices. And even worse happening in #CBFC Mumbai office. Had to pay 6.5 lacs for my film #MarkAntonyHindi version. 2 transactions. 3 Lakhs for screening and 3.5 Lakhs for certificate. Never faced this situation ever in my career. Had no option but to pay the concerned mediator #Menaga coz too much at stake since movie released today.
Bringing this to the notice of Hon Chief Minister of Maharashtra and my Hon PM Narendra Modiji. Doing this is not for me but for future producers. NOT HAPPENING. My hard-earned money gone for corruption??? No way. Evidence down for all to hear. Hope truth prevails as always.”
The CBI issued a statement on the CBFC case which said, “It was alleged that during the month of September, 2023, a private person entered a conspiracy with others to obtain a bribe of Rs.7,00,000/- & to get the required censor certificate from CBFC, Mumbai for a movie dubbed in Hindi.
It was further alleged that in furtherance of the said conspiracy, she initially demanded bribe on behalf of CBFC Mumbai officials amounting to Rs.7,00,000/- from the Complainant and subsequently after negotiation, she allegedly accepted Rs.6,54,000/- as bribe on behalf of CBFC Mumbai officials in two bank accounts of other two accused.”
The premises of the accused in four different places had been searched by the CBI. Incriminating documents had been found stated the CBI, adding that investigations were ongoing.