Leela Samson
Censor Board chief Leela Samson quitsFacebook

Leela Samson has quit as Censor Board chief, citing "interference, coercion and corruption" in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, according to reports.

In her statement to the Press Trust of India, Samson said that the corrupt panel members have caused a degradation of values that the members of Censor Board stood for.

"Recent cases of interference in the working of the (board) by the ministry, through an 'additional charge' CEO, and corrupt panel members has caused a degradation of values that the members of (the Censor Board) and Chairperson stood for," PTI quoted Samson as saying.

Samson's resignation came after controversial Dera Sachcha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim's film "Messenger of God (MSG)" got cleared for release by Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

When asked whether she is aware of the FCAT clearing Dera Saccha Sauda chief's film, Samson said that it is a mockery of Censor Board.

"I hear so. Nothing in writing yet. It is a mockery of Central Board of Film Certification. My resignation is final. Have informed the (I&B) Secretary," she told PTI.

Censor Board had previously decided not to clear "Messenger of God (MSG)" for public screening. However, it was later referred to FCAT.

Nandini Sardesai, a Censor Board member, supporting Samson said that the allegations are true. She also added that Tribunal usually takes minimum 15 days to clear a film, but "MSG" was cleared in just 24 hours.

"We all saw the movie. We all decided that the movie was not suitable for public viewing. Usually the Tribunal takes 15 to 20 days to clear a film, but this case was cleared within 24 hours," Sardesai told NDTV.