Maalik feud: Government failed to present solid arguments in support of ban says LHC

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Lahore High Court judge Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza, while hearing the petition against the ban on Maalik movie, on June 2 said that government has failed to present substantial arguments in favor of ban on the movie. Maalik movie was banned by the Federal government on April 27.

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Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza had directed the government to submit a written reply over imposing ban on the movie. Followed by the ban, Lahore High Court was moved by the opposition leader of the Punjab Assembly, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’ MPA Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed. Another separate petition was filed against the ban by Advocate Azhar Siddique.

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The petitioners’ attorneys argued that in the wake of the 18th amendment, the Federal government does not enjoys the right to impose ban on movies as this power now vests with the provincial governments as per the amendment. They further argued that although the Censor Board had given a green signal to the movie initially and it was screened in the cinemas, yet the Federal Government imposed a ban suddenly, without asking for the show cause notice.

On the other hand counsel of the federal government maintained that the movie humiliated political figures, and there were fears that the movie might generate unrest. The counsel claimed that the federal government imposed ban on the movie owing to various complaints against it from across the country. He said that the ban was imposed by the federal government imposed ban on the movie in line with its constitutional authority.

After hearing the arguments of the federal government’ counsel the court remarked that similar content has already been aired on the TV channels and some other movies, but it depends entirely upon the individual to watch it or not. The court declared that the federal government has failed to furnish arguments which might justify ban on the movie.