Pakistan’s Lahore High Court allows channels to show Indian movies

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The Lahore High Court has allowed private channels to show Indian movies as per their terms of agreements with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra). The court on Monday granted permission in the light of Pemra’s 2002 ordinance that television channels were allowed to run Indian films, The News International reported. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued the order after Leo Communication and others challenged the ban on the broadcast of Indian content on TVs.

The petitioner argued the permission would remain subject to terms and conditions of the licence under the Pemra Ordinance in 2002. It said the channels should be allowed to broadcast Indian dramas/plays as they fall within the category of “entertainment”. However, the Pemra contested the argument and sought time to establish that “entertainment” did not include Indian dramas and plays. It said the channels were allowed to run Indian movies as per terms of their licence agreements.

The court has set March 2 for further hearing. Leo Communication had filed the petition assailing a circular issued by the Pemra on October 19 last year for being ultra vires of the authority’s rules and the constitution as well. The petitioner company said the government was indulging in selective patriotism as Indian movies were allowed to be screened across the country but not on televisions.

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