IHC takes notice over adhocism in Censor Board of Film Censor


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought a reply from the federal government regarding the Central Board of Film Censor’s (CBFC) failure to fill vacant slots of chairman and board secretary despite the lapse of a long time.

Filing a plea before the IHC through his counsel Umer Gillani, the petitioner Malik Ahmed Nawaz made the Federation of Pakistan through the principal secretary to the prime minister, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting through its secretary, CBFC through its acting chairman and secretary, and the Islamabad Establishment Division as respondents.

Appearing before a single-member bench of the IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, the petitioner’s advocate contended that the federal government is running the affairs of the CBFC board on an ad-hoc basis.

Gillani alleged that the government failed to implement provisions of the Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979, in true letter and spirit as has also neglected to envisage the creation of an independent, professional regulatory body for film censorship in the country.

Pointing out a series of malpractices which showed CBFC’s utter disregard for the law, Gillani argued that the board has been functioning without a secretary for many years, whereas, no vice chairman has been appointed since 2013.

“Besides, the post of chairman is held by a person who happens to be a serving government officer, also working as a director to the information minister,” the advocate added.

He urged the court to issue directives to government and other respondents to fill the slots of chairman, vice-chairmen and board secretary within a reasonable time and in accordance with the law.

After hearing arguments of the council, the IHC issued notices to respondents of the case while granting them a month in the matter.