Conditional airing of controversial serial Hadsa allowed.

ISLAMABAD -- The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has conditionally allowed the broadcast of a TV serial depicting the story of a rape victim.

The serial 'Hadsa', which began airing on Geo TV on August 21, was banned by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on a complaint that the show was based on the 2020 motorway gang rape case. The show's producers have denied the allegation.

During the proceedings on Monday, the counsel for the TV channel contended that Pemra had issued a prohibition order on the broadcast over a complaint filed by Barrister Khadija Siddique.

He further contended that no right of hearing was extended to the applicant before passing the order, nor any show-cause notice was served to them.

The lawyer for the electronic media regulator argued the broadcast was restricted as the serial replicated the incident of the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway gang rape.

The plot was highly inappropriate and disturbing and portrayed a negative image of Pakistani citizens, and the regulator was empowered as per Section 27 of the Pemra Ordinance to pass a prohibitory order first and then refer the matter to its Council of Complaints for appropriate recommendations, the lawyer argued.

It is a settled law that every individual has the right to freedom of expression and the right to do lawful trade, business or profession, but...

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