Indian films: High court issues notice to censor board, media

Cinema owners, distributors want a say in the ban on exhibition of Indian movies.

Our Correspondent December 13, 2013
Cinema owners, distributors want a say in the ban on exhibition of Indian movies. DESIGN: JAMAL KHURSHID


The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Central Censor Board and Pakistan Electronic Media Association (PEMA) for December 16 on a petition by Pakistan Cinema Owners Association and distributors of films to become party in the case against exhibition of Indian movies.

Barrister Ali Zafar appeared before the court on behalf of the petitioners and said that the case filed by a private TV show host against exhibition of Indian films was a misrepresentation an ex-parte order for stopping the Central Board of Censors from certifying smuggled films only.

He said the Pakistan Motion Pictures Ordinance and the Censorship of Films Rules, which govern the jurisdiction of the Censor Board, did not prohibit the certification and exhibition of any Indian films.

He said the Censor Board could refuse to certify a film prejudicial to the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan.

He said the Censor Board was duty-bound to examine and certify films on a case-to-case basis.

He said the revival of Pakistani films depended on the existence of cinemas and his clients had invested heavily in setting up state-of-the-art centres in Pakistan.

He said the people of Pakistan were starved for entertainment and appreciated the revival of the “cinema culture” which also presented a soft image of Pakistan to the rest of the world.

He said the existence of the cinema had revived a form of art and culture in Pakistan and the Pakistani film industry had seen a resurgence of quality films.

He said the petitioner had sought to ban all Indian films and the court’s order could mean the death of cinemas in Pakistan.

He added that the livelihood of thousands of people employed in the industry would be jeopardised.

He said that although the court had not stopped the Censor Board from certifying Indian films and only banned smuggled films, the chairman was delaying certification of legally imported films as well.

Earlier the court had banned smuggled films in the country.

The petitioner had submitted that the exhibition of all Indian films, TV dramas and other programmes was in violation of Section 270-A Motion Pictures Ordinance 1979 and Martial Law Order 81.

The petitioner had requested the court to accept the petition and issue directions to all respondents to stop the exhibition of all type of Indian content on Pakistan’s channels.

Meanwhile, India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Thursday criticised the Pakistani court’s order to stop the screening of Indian content on TV channels, saying that films and serials were ideas that couldn’t be stopped.

In a tweet, Tewari said, “Pakistani jingoists should know that films and TV serials are ideas and ideas can’t be barred.

The Pakistani government must remove them from negative list ASAP.”

The ban on Indian films has been widely criticised since it was announced last week.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2013.


Fazal | 8 years ago | Reply

Its not about banning the Indian films only , actually the revenue these cinema owners are getting from these movies is not going into govt bank accounts no taxes are paid and money laundering it at its peak . Indian business men are also involved in this issue . If they are willing to pay taxes to Govt than why not .

LunacyAsailam | 8 years ago | Reply

@M.Faisal: Why we wanted to have a seperate Country. So muslims can get there seperate Islamic state, Where constitution can work under the Islamic values and directives and thus the constitution it self shows that we are not a secular state we are Islamic republic of Pakistan. Now what culture Indians have, if same we do have here so why we are wasting time by having forces and creating border, we should merge again as a one state Indo Pak as nehru stated that will be. I have seen 1 or 2 movies in the cinemas and unfortunately those were not that you can watch with your family like Goolmal 3 because of bad language and abusive signals.. But there are also very good movies like chennai express or Hollywood top movies like Man of steel, Olympus has fallen, hobbit with only 20sec parts to censor.. So Good should be only allowed but not bad because it is an entertainment and by this you will have more cinemas and revival of your industry..

Appreciate your objective of peace. But, NO thank you.Its really possible to make a nation state work, it does not require anyone's help. Little countries like Sweden work, why cant Pakistan?. The Sentiment in India is generally anti Islamic, Nehru too did not appreciate Islam, even though that doesnt mean one cant be secular at the same time.Its taken Indian Muslims over a thousand years to gel into Indian society and still are kept as unaccepted at the frontier lines of mainstream society.Its taking progressive young men and woman to take them along with us, integrate them as our society, its taking EFFORT and we dont like seeing anyone hurt or feeling bad , in modern India.Its easier, because we are one people and culture, its difficult because of Islam.So basically what we are saying is that, if Punjabis(basically scythians who are occupying Punjab) want to unite, we would rather give a little more land and close off India from barbarian territory, rather than invite more in. You have a pretty deluded and unrealistic view of History.India and Pakistan were "never" one in the first place. Yes, British administered India of 100 years do not reflect the civilisational divides of Scythians and Bharatiyas. You need to "work", put effort into society. Our society is in shambles, anti woman, sexist, poverty and you are asking us to take in more anti woman, Arab like peoples who are not only poor, but terror minded?. Please leave India alone , its been a long pestering from the North West.Join with peoples more similar to you, like Afghanistan-Iran.Dont talk about India. This is a very old family, any body cant walk in just, because Aurangazeb walked in and died without a trace a few hundred years ago.How easy is this? just walk into someone motherland as if is your own!!!..shame.

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