Government asks for more time to submit reply on Maalik ban

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Government has asked for more time to submit its reply on Maalik movie ban. Consequently, the Lahore High Court has allowed the Federal Government and other respondents to submit their replies by May 23, Monday. The Federal Government was directed by the court to submit a reply on two petitions seeking lifting of ban on Maalik movie.

Petition on lifting of ban on Maalik movie

The Lahore High Court judge, Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza, gave additional three days to the respondents for the submission of their replies. Previously, the Lahore High Court had directed the Federal government, the Film Censor Board and others.

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Soon after a ban was imposed on the Asher Azeem’ movie, Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed- Leader of Opposition in the Provincial Assembly moved a petition against the ban in the Lahore High Court. Another petition seeking annulment of the ban was moved by Advocate Munir Ahmad.

The defense council of Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed explained during the case hearing that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had banned Maalik, through a notification which was issued on April 27. He maintained that the fact that prior to this ban, the Censor Board had given approval for the movie’ exhibition is worth considering.

He maintained that the government is not authorized to impose ban on a movie followed by the 18th Amendment, “Issues pertaining to motion pictures have been devolved to provinces,” he said. He continued to argue that the film portrayed corrupt elements in our society which has been under special emphasis in the wake of Panama Leaks. The movie is not by any means a threat to the sovereignty of the state, he maintained.

The Federal government had imposed a ban on the movie, which sparked a widespread public debate among the masses. However, prior to the ban, the movie was already being played in the cinemas nationwide. After giving a green signal earlier, the ministry of information declared the movie “Un-certified for whole Pakistan on April 26. Earlier the Sindh government banned the movie, but the decision was rescinded after a few hours.

The film is directed and written by a Christian actor and writer, Asher Azeem, who made a debut as a film director with Maalik. In 1994, he received wide acclamation, after his drama serial Dhuwaan. Due to his super-hit drama serial Dhuwaan he met outstanding fame.