LHC allows TV channels having licence to air Indian movies
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah on Thursday permitted TV channels having licenses to play Indian movies. The court also sought reply from the federal government pertaining to ban on Indian dramas on Pakistani TVs.
The chief justice issued this order on a petition of M/s Leo Communications, assailing a circular issued by Pemra on October 19, 2016 for being ultra vires of the authority’s rules and the Constitution.
As the proceedings started, the counsel for the petitioner argued that his client was granted a 15-year licence by Pemra in 2010 to operate a cable channel by the name of Filmazia. He said under the licence conditions, the channel was allowed to broadcast 10 per cent foreign content, including that of India.
He said the channel became very popular; however, Pemra without any prior notice issued a circular on October 19, 2016 abruptly banning all Indian content on cable channels in Pakistan.
He argued that without assigning any reason, the sudden proscription sounded a death knell for the channel as it had made substantial investment in purchasing the Indian content and its ratings took a nosedive due to the ban. He said the government was indulging in ‘selective patriotism’ as Indian movies had been allowed to be screened across the country.