KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday asked actor Humayun Saeed to appear in person and explain why he delivered offensive and sexist dialogues in Meray Paas Tum Ho, a TV show, written by Khalil Ur Rehman.
A two member bench comprising Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed and Justice Muhammad Ali Azhar was hearing the petition against the television serial wherein it instructed the federal government, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), and other respondents to submit their replies by February 13.
In her petition, citizen Sana Saleem said that the script contained derogatory language when talking about women for which the writer, actor and producer should apologise.
Besides language, the petitioner also objected over “a divorced couple living together” and “a six-year-old playing matchmaker between his father and a school teacher”.
Her lawyer, Munir Gulal, argued that a line from show had become quite popular and had hurt the reputation and sentiments of women all over the country. During the hearing, the lawyer also added that the drama had portrayed Karachi’s image in a negative manner.
The court asked the lawyer why the petition had mentioned 21 episodes when the show had 24. Gulal explained that the show’s finale had been screen in cinemas and thus more video evidence could be presented if need be.
Lawyers representing a private TV channel and PEMRA were also present in the court. The court asked the regulation authority’s lawyer if there was a way to monitor the dramas through in-house censors to which he responded that the regulating body had a separate forum where dramas are monitored.
“According to our policy, dramas shouldn’t contain language or visuals that are beyond ethics,” he explained.
Addressing the petitioner’s lawyer, the court said that he should have moved forums concerned first.
Justice Azhar asked why the TV show’s lead, actor Humayun Saeed, did not appear before the court. The hearing was adjourned till February 13 after his lawyer ensured that the actor would appear before the court in the neat hearing.
This is the second time someone has raised their voice against the drama that has been widely criticised for promoting moral decay in society through casual sexism and promotion of patriarchal ideas.
On January 22, a woman filed a petition in a Lahore civil court to stop the show’s finale from airing.
“The show repeatedly passed derogatory comments about women and has disrespected their status,” said Maham Chaudhry.
“This is an attempt to show women as weak and less important in society,” she stated in her petition, adding that it would further harm Pakistani women.