Verdict reserved in Maalik ban case
LAHORE – Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza of the Lahore High Court yesterday reserved verdict on a petition challenging ban on exhibition of film ‘Maalik’.
During the hearing, the federal government’s lawyer argued that the film’s content was against the stability and integrity of the country, therefore, the ban was imposed on exhibition of the film.
However, Sheraz Zaka advocate, the counsel of the petitioner, contended that if Indian movies and ads of Indian actress Sunny Leon could be allowed to exhibit in Pakistan then why not such movie could be allowed which had discussed the subject of corruption.
After hearing both sides, the judge reserved verdict on the petition.
Opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed had filed the petition against the ban on exhibition of film ‘Maalik’.
The petitioner through his counsel argued that the ministry of information, broadcasting and heritage through a notification of April 27 had imposed ban on exhibition of this film.
He stated that earlier the film censor board had given approval for exhibition of this film.
He further stated that after 18th amendment the government had no authority to impose ban on any film and the matter pertaining to motion pictures has been devolved to provinces.
He pleaded that the film was on top of corruption issue which was hot in the prevailing circumstances after Panama Leaks and it would not create any unrest among the masses.
The petitioner said film neither was against the sovereignty of the state nor it was against the social values but even then the government had banned exhibition of film in cinemas across the country.
He said that it was high time when the people should be informed about the evils of corruption.
He stated that the media of film was always used to create awareness against the evils.
He submitted that the film was based on social norms and values in our society and against menace of corruption.
He said that movie or drama made for the social development couldn’t be banned.
He requested the court to set aside the notification-banning exhibition of movie.
Petitioner Munir Ahmad counsel Muhammad Azhad Siddique submitted that after 18th amendment the government had no authority to impose ban on any film and the matter pertaining to motion pictures has been devolved to provinces.
He said that the film was on top of corruption issue that was hot in the prevailing circumstances after Panama Leaks and it would not create any unrest among the masses.
He alleged that in order to protect the federal government in connivance with the Sindh government had issued the impugned notification.
He submitted that after the Panama Leaks the said feature film was probably proved very helpful to understand the method, process and mechanism under which the ruling elite misuse their powers and plays with the national interests of Pakistan.
Resultantly this movie was not acceptable due to its theme, so, the federal government with the connivance of ministry issued the impugned notification, he said.
He also said the impugned notification proves that the ministry had not only exceeded from his powers while issuing the notification but has also tried to assault the real essence of 18 th amendment only to cure the corrupt political elite of the government.
The movie was aired and played in the cinemas of Pakistan for at-least fifteen days and without assigning any reasons, for the sake of arguments if withdrawal of censor certificate or declaring uncertified film, no opportunity of hearing was granted to producers and directors and as such violation of Articles 10-A of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.
He stated that the people of Pakistan have fundamental rights to view the movie in view of the Article, 19 and any action in violation of Article 19 is void in term of Article 8 and the impugned Notification is not in accordance with law as directed in Articles 4 and 5 of the Constitution of Islamic