Leela Samson
Censor Board chief Leela Samson quitsFacebook

After Leela Samson, at least nine of the 23 members of Censor Board have given their resignation, citing "interference, coercion and corruption".

Ira Bhaskar, who quit on Friday, said the members support Samson's decision to resign.

The members who resigned are Bhaskar, Lora Prabhu, Pankaj Sharma, Rajeev Masand, TG Thyagarajan, Mamang Dai, Sekharbabu Kancherla, Shaji Karun, and Shubhra Gupta, Mid-Day reported.

In the letter to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the members stated that they asked I & B Minister to make several recommendations to strengthen Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), but none of the recommendations were taken on board.

"We had also sent a letter to the then I & B Minister in December 2013 making several recommendations that would strengthen CBFC as an institution, and that we were willing to work with the government. The earlier letter is attached to this mail. None of the recommendations that we made in that letter have been taken on board, and there has been no engagement with us on crucial issues that we were raising," MID-Day quoted the letter of the members.

On Thursday night, Samson resigned from the post of Censor Board chief and next day she told media that government interference in the censor board's working has forced her to quit.

Samson in a statement also said that the her term as a chairperson is over, but the new government asked her to extend it as they didn't appoint a new member for that post.

"Interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organisation appointed by the ministry and having to manage an organisation whose Board has not met for over nine months as the ministry had 'no funds' to permit the meeting of members," Samson said in a statement.

"The term of all members and the chairperson is over. But since the new government failed to appoint a new board and chairperson, a few were given extensions and asked to carry on till this procedure was completed."

"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 the members of this Board of CBFC and chairperson stood for."

Meanwhile, there were speculations that Samson's resigned due to the clearance of Dera Sachcha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim's film "Messenger of God (MSG)" by Film Certification Appellate