1176979 maalikcoverx 1473143351 442 640x480 - SHC declares ban on Maalik 'illegal', clears for screening
Sindh High Court on Tuesday overturned a ban on Ashir Azeem’s directorial Maalik months after the federal information industry put a ban on the release of the film.

The director had challenged the ban placed by the federal government on screening of the Urdu feature film nationwide.

In its reply, the federal government had declared showing a former Afghan extremist character in movie as a celebrated hero was one of the reasons behind the ban.

Headed by SHC Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, a two-judge bench announced the judgement which was previously reserved after hearing arguments from film director’s lawyer, additional attorney general and others.

Released on April 8, Maalik follows the story of an SSG officer who after undergoing a personal tragedy decides to start a private security company along with his retired colleagues in Karachi. Together, they aim to free the society of the evils surrounding it.

Earlier, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, and National Heritage had declared the film ‘uncertified’ according to Section 9 of the Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979. “The information ministry reserves the right to ban any film at any time. Maalik has been banned because it shows a former chief minister as a man of corruption and opulence,” a ministry official had said.

The movie was subsequently barred from screen worldwide in August. Previously, in an attempt to save his sinking ship, the director was planning to release the film in Middle East, United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.

Maalik lasted on the box office for not more than three weeks, running into trouble first with Sindh censors and finally the Central Board of Film Censors. There were those in government ranks who simply did not appreciate the representation of different ethnicities and politicians as a group in the film.