The Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued orders that Indian and foreign films that were smuggled into Pakistan could not be exhibited.
The court also directed the Pakistan Film Censor Board chairman to ensure that the department did not issue licenses to Indian films with fake documents. The court issued notices to the federal government and other authorities for November 25.
The LHC passed the order on a petition filed by an anchor of a private channel challenging the smuggling and exhibition of Indian films in Pakistan.
The petitioner said that Indian films were being smuggled into Pakistan and the Pakistan Censor Board was issuing illegal licenses to them even though they had fake documentation.
He further said some Indian films promoted terrorism and lawlessness in Pakistan. He asked the LHC to direct the Ministry of Interior to initiate action against those smuggling and exhibiting Indian films in cinemas under the Anti Terrorism Act.
The petitioner’s counsel stated that under the law, Indian films could not be screened in Pakistani cinemas. Many of these films had been smuggled and were being screened illegally.
He said most foreign movies could be screened in Pakistan, but Indian movies could not. He said that Indian films like Pride and Prejudice and Race 2 that were shot at foreign locations could be displayed in Pakistan but films shot entirely in India could not.
He said the promoters had recently smuggled many films that had been completely shot in India. They were being screened in Pakistani cinemas under the category of foreign films. He said the censor board had illegally issued licenses to them.
The petitioner requested the court to direct the Customs authorities to initiate action against the smuggling of films under the Customs Act.
He also requested the court to issue directions to the censor board chairman to stop issuing licenses to Indian films.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2013.
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