ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the exhibition of an Indian movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan in Pakistan. A Single Bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq turned down the petition declaring that the petitioner has no right to move this petition.

The petition was moved by Faisal Akbar of the Alliance for Welfare Society for Development Advocacy (AWSDA) through his lawyer Barrister Masroor Shah and cited Chairman of the Central Board for Film Censors (CBFC) and Secretary Information and broadcasting as respondents.

He stated in his petition that the Board in sheer disregard of the law and being overwhelmed by the undue influence of commercial interest purportedly issued a certificate to the film. The petitioner added that in the recent past, two Indian movies - Kabul Express and Ek Tha Tiger - were banned from exhibition in Pakistan because of their highly objectionable contents against the country and negative depiction of our society and social values. Barrister Masroor, counsel for the petitioner, contended that the film undermines Pakistan’s integrity as an independent State.

He argued that the respondents have either been hoodwinked or they have deliberately turned a blind eye to the affidavit given by the producer of the film that 90 per cent of it has been filmed abroad and not in India hence it should be treated as a non-Indian foreign film and granted certificate for exhibition in Pakistan accordingly.

He continued that not a single scene of the film has been filmed outside India yet the CBFC has purportedly issued certificate for its exhibition in Pakistan as a non-Indian foreign film.

Therefore, the petitioner prayed to the court to declare the certificate issued by the CBFC for public exhibition of the film as illegal and restrain respondents from allowing exhibition of the film in Pakistan.