Pakistani Showbiz

Govt failed to furnish strong arguments on ‘Maalik’ ban, rules court


LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) while reserving its verdict on petitions filed against a ban on film ‘Maalik’ on Thursday ruled that the federal government could not furnish strong arguments in support of prohibition, ARY News reported.

Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza of LHC today conducted hearing of petitions filed by Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed and an advocate, Azhar Siddique, against the ban.

The attorneys of the petitioners contended that following the 18th Amendment, the federal government does not have the right to ban a flick for this is now a provincial subject.

Punjab Censor Board permitted screening of the movie, they said, but the central government took it off cinemas.

The counsel of the federal government told the court that the flick humiliates political figures raising fears of unrest in the country. The ban was prompted by nationwide complaints against the picture. He maintained the government imposed a ban on Maalik using its constitutional powers.

At this, the court remarked that what is shown in the movie that has already been aired on TV channels and some other flicks, now it’s up to a person whether to watch it or not.

It ruled that the federal government failed to furnish reasonable arguments in support of ban on Maalik.

The petitioners also stated during the hearing that complaints were lodged against the movie under fake names and were non-admissible.

It should also be noted here that another petition seeking action against officials, for twisting facts and spreading disinformation, is pending hearing.

The federal government requested the LHC to suspend the notification revoking Maalik’s certification for 60 days if it wished to announce the verdict.

To which, Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza said it is the authority of the court to make a judgment and it will do so in according to the law.

Moreover, the court reserved its judgment after the two sides concluded their arguments.

On April 27, the federal government had revoked censor certification of Ashir Azeem’s directorial debut ‘Maalik’. The movie was swiftly taken off cinemas across the country, after three weeks of screening.

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