‘Hadsa’ showrunner grateful to IHC for allowing Hadiqa Kiani’s drama serial to air again

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In a recent turn of events, the Islamabad High Court has suspended the ban imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on the television show Hadsa. The drama serial had faced controversy and a ban due to its content, but it now seems that viewers will have the opportunity to watch the show once again.

Wajahat Rauf, the showrunner of Hadsa, expressed his gratitude for the court’s decision, stating, “The Honourable Islamabad High Court has allowed our fictional character Taskeen to tell her inspirational story of getting justice for herself and all other survivors like her. Taskeen’s story is about how she became a survivor instead of a victim with a resolute struggle for justice. We are grateful that viewers will get to see the story in its entirety.”

The court’s decision to suspend the PEMRA ban was based on several factors. A circulating court order states, “The comparative analysis falls within the jurisdiction of the Council of Complaints and since the Council of Complaints is a public regulatory authority, it is the best entity to assess whether the content of any drama or program complies with the standards outlined in Section 27. However, due to the non-availability of the Council of Complaints, the applicant/appellant could not be deprived of the constitutional guarantees provided under Article 4 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973; therefore, the minimum standard at this stage has to be seen”.

Furthermore, it outlined, “Whereas PEMRA had not given any right of hearing to the applicant/appellant before passing of the prohibitory order prima facie makes the case of the applicant/appellant arguable, the inconvenience caused to the applicant/appellant side including their irreparable loss is visible, all these ingredients compel this Court to pass injunctive order.” Keeping the aforementioned acts in mind, the “impugned order” was “suspended.”

It was further highlighted that “where the obscenity of such part is too pronounced to eschew, only the objectionable part should be prohibited from being broadcasted and directed to be suitably modified, and the broadcast or rebroadcast of the complete play or drama must not be prohibited subject to furnishing of an undertaking by the producer/director of the drama serial Hadsa that the rape scene (if any) referred in episode five may not be repeated/re-telecasted/broadcasted in any manner in the subsequent
episodes.”

The legal battle surrounding Hadsa has drawn significant attention, raising questions about freedom of expression, regulatory authority jurisdiction, and the balance between artistic creativity and societal standards. With the Islamabad High Court’s decision to suspend the ban, viewers can expect to see Hadsa back on their screens, albeit with potential modifications to its content.

 

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