Lahore High Court reserves verdict on ‘Maalik’ ban

Photo: FILE

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday reserved a verdict on petitions, challenging the ban on screening of film “Maalik”.

Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza heard the petitions, filed by opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, Mian Mehmood-ur- Rasheed, and Munir Ahmad.

Earlier, the petitioners’ counsel Shiraz Zaka and Muhammad Azhar Siddique submitted that the information ministry had issued a notification, slapping a ban on exhibition of the film “Maalik”. They said that the ban was in violation of fundamental right of freedom of expression.

They said that after the eighteenth amendment, the censorship powers had been delegated to provinces and the federal government could not impose a ban.

Referring to the judgements of Indian courts, they pleaded with the court to set aside the ban.

However, a deputy attorney general opposed the request and submitted that the film portrays politicians and others in a despicable and contemptuous manner.

He contended that the federal government was empowered to impose the ban and the film was banned on receiving complaints from civil society.

To which, petitioners’ counsel argued that the federal censor board accorded approval by granting it a universal certificate, “Once permission is granted or legal rights are created, then such vested rights cannot be withdrawn or set aside,” he added.

The court, after hearing detailed arguments of both parties, reserved verdict on the petition.

Source: APP