LHC scraps PEMRA's ban on airing of Indian dramas

Published: July 18, 2017
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LAHORE: Noting that “the world has become a global village”, the Lahore High Court (LHC) lifted on Tuesday a ban on the airing of Indian drama serials imposed by the broadcast media watchdog last year.

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order after hearing arguments on a petition filed by a local media company praying that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) prohibition be set aside.

Through its counsel Advocate Asma Jehangir, the petitioner, Leo Communications, owner of the entertainment channel Filmazia, contended that while Indian drama series were banned in the country, Bollywood movies were being widely exhibited.

PEMRA puts blanket ban on airing of Indian content in Pakistan

The petitioner said Pemra had granted a licence to the company for 15 years to operate a cable channel. Under the licence conditions, the channel was allowed to broadcast 10 per cent foreign content, including that of India.

The channel became very popular, however, without any prior notice Pemra issued a circular on October 19, 2016 and banned all Indian content on cable channels in Pakistan, the petitioner further said, adding that Pemra’s ban caused serious damage to the company because it had done substantial investment in purchasing Indian content.
Pemra’s counsel argued that the ban was placed on Indian content because Pakistani movies and dramas were banned in India. To this, the court observed that Indian programming could be censored if it contained immoral or anti-Pakistan content.

PEMRA to suspend channels airing Indian content

The high court also asked Pemra’s counsel to present a copy of the notification, if any, about the restriction on the airing of Pakistani content in India.

The court also wondered that if there was content in Indian broadcast shows or movies that was spoiling Pakistani culture and tradition or having a bad impact on the youth, why did Pemra choose not to mention it in its reply to the court.

Stating that Pemra should review its policy because the world had become a global village and “how long could we continue putting bans”, the court disposed of the petition and allowed the airing of Indian content in the country.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Ahmedsh
    Jul 18, 2017 - 10:14PM

    All the Pakistan Urdu dramas are totally restricted by the tv channels saying that Pakistan is behind all the wrong doing in India. Remember no ban imposes by any legal authority in India. Recently campaigning in India not to use any products made Pakistan all across India getting phenomenal response and Pakistan exports now going down in Asia.

    Alhamdolillah we are watching Indian movies and dramas and enjoying weather. What a great nation we are alhamdolillah.

    Looks like the courts are running like horses in our country very straight forward no turn and they are globalised…..For what???Recommend

  • Indian Dramas
    Jul 18, 2017 - 11:02PM

    Indian Dramas fill the news stories everyday. How can PEMRA ban them?Recommend

  • Amir
    Jul 18, 2017 - 11:11PM

    A good sensible move by the LHC. what india may be doing should not concern us as this degrades them for being intolerant and ignorant. If one doesn’t want to watch Indian drama, turn switch and watch Dr. Aamir Liaqat. Recommend

  • Irfan_Sydney
    Jul 19, 2017 - 9:09AM

    I agree world has become a global village. I also want to watch some popular TV series from Scandinavian counties. Recommend

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