Exhibition of films: replies sought on cable TV, Internet working
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought replies from the Central Board of Film Censors, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and other respondents on a petition challenging exhibition of local and foreign films by TV channels on cable networks and the Internet.
The M/s NC Entertainment and Mandviwala Entertainment, both broadcasting companies with a chain of cinemas running in the country, filed a joint petition questioning the violation of the Motion Pictures Ordinance 1979 by the license holders of Pemra.
On behalf of the petitioners, Advocate Ali Raza argued before the court that all films broadcast on the distribution networks under regulations of Pemra were required to be approved by the board constituted under the motion pictures law. He said any broadcast of film without the certification was unlawful. He said the petitioners, being distributors and public exhibition cinema houses, were subject to rigorous requirements of licensing and certification by the censor board and the federal ministry of commerce for each film but none of the cable licensees or internet enabled platforms accessible in Pakistan were required to meet the strict requirements of the respondents to seek certification and censorship.
The counsel argued that the channels available on the cable network and the Internet telecast local and foreign content without censor and certification, which was a discriminatory application of the law. He asked the court to order the respondents to deal with all the mediums of private and public exhibition displaying films without discrimination and regulate the exhibition of films on cable TV under the rules
Justice Raheel Kamran issued notices to the respondents for submission of their replies by May 18. He also sought assistance from the attorney general of Pakistan in the case.