Govt given last chance to file reply in ‘Maalik’ ban case


Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday gave a last chance to the federal government and others for filing a reply on two identical petitions, challenging the ban on the film Maalik, till May 19.

The court observed that the matter would be heard on a daily basis from the next hearing onwards.

Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza passed the orders on petitions filed by the opposition leader in Punjab Assembly, Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed and a citizen named Munir Ahmad.

The petitioners’ counsel — Shiraz Zaka and Muhammad Azhar Siddique — stated that the information ministry had issued a notification, imposing a ban on the film Maalik. They said that the ban was in violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression.

The lawyers said that after the eighteenth amendment, the censorship powers had been delegated to the provinces and the federal government did not have the authority to impose a ban on the film.

Referring to the judgements of Indian courts, they pleaded the court to set aside the ban.  However, the federal and provincial law officers sought time for filing a reply in the matter. The court gave one last chance to the respondents for filing the reply till May 19 and adjourned the hearing.