SHC moved against ban on screening ‘Maalik’
Comments sought from FIA on Yousuf Raza Gilani’s petition
Karachi: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday issued notices to ministry of information and broadcasting, censor board and others, and called their comments on May 3, on a petition seeking withdrawal of the ban imposed on screening of Pakistani film ‘Maalik’.
Writer and director of the movie, Ashir Azeem Malik, approached the court against the ministry of information and broadcasting’s decision to impose a ban on the movie.
The petitioner maintained that the Sindh board of film censor issued provisional certificate on April 6 for exhibition of the film and it was also cleared from censor boards in Punjab.
The film was screened for three weeks after the provincial censor board suspended the certificate on April 26, however, withdrawing it the same day; the film was then on April 27 was declared uncertified by the ministry of information and broadcasting under the motion pictures ordinance. The director of the film maintained that the movie was based on social issues and a corrupt political system but did not mean to target the current political government, institution or any other authority.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the impugned notice was unlawful as no prior show cause notice was given to the petitioner under the ordinance, and the film did not include any scene which would or could damage the country’s image.
The counsel further argued that the order to declare the movie uncertified was contrary to the motion picture ordinance and other relevant laws. The court was requested to set the order aside and lift the ban on the movie’s screenings across the country.
SHC’s division bench headed by chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah after a preliminary hearing of the petition issued notices to deputy attorney general, ministry of information and broadcasting, censor board of film and others and called in their comments on May 3.
The Sindh High Court on Friday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to file comments on a petition filed by former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani against registration of new cases and harassment by the FIA in a multi-million rupee scam in the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
The senior PPP leader was booked in over a dozen of cases and inquiries pertaining to embezzlement of export development funds and causing loss to the national exchequer through bogus export claims on freight subsidies.
According to the prosecution, the former prime minster, PPP late leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim, senior officials of the TDAP, exporters and bank officials allegedly embezzled export development funds and caused loss to the national exchequer through financial irregularities, bogus export claims on freight subsidies, which were approved by the former PPP government for the exporters.
Petitioner’s counsel Farooq H Naek submitted that the former prime minister was being booked in identical cases in which he was already facing a trial.
He said FIA authorities were harassing the petitioner in respect of inquiries in fresh cases and requested the court to restrain the FIA from registration of fresh cases against the petitioner without permission of the court and direct authorities to stop harassing the petitioner.
He also sought details of pending cases and inquires against him with regard to the TDAP scandal.
FIA’s counsel sought time from the court to file comments on the petition.The court directed the FIA to file comments on the petition and adjourned the hearing till May 27.
The former prime minister has already been on bail in several cases registered under the scam.
The SHC dismissed an appeal filed by a death row convict sentenced for murdering his ex-wife.
Mohammad Ismail was sentenced to death by the additional district and sessions court after he was pronounced guilty for murdering ex-spouse Nazia on August 2, 2011, in Liquatabad area.
According to the prosecution, Nazia had taken divorce from the man through a court after which Ismail had murdered the woman.
Appealing against the conviction, he requested the court to set aside the trial court order, claiming that legal requirements were not fulfilled during the trial proceedings.
Perusing the evidence of the case and hearing the arguments of the appellant and the state counsel, the court dismissed the appeal.