ACT, 1876

act No. XIX of 1876

[16th December, 1876]


An Act for the better control of public dramatic performances

whereas it is expedient to empower the Government to pro­hibit public dramatic performances which are scandalous, defama­tory, seditious or obscene; It is hereby enacted as follows:—


1.        Short Title. This Act may be called the Dramatic Performances Act, 1876.  It extends to [the whole of Pakistan].


2.      “Magistrate” defined. In this Act "Magistrate "means,    the Magistrate of the district.                                                  


3.       Power to prohibit certain dramatic performances. Whenever the [Provincial Government] is of opinion that : any play, pantomime or other drama performed or about to be performed in a public place is—

(a)         Of a scandalous or defamatory nature, or

(b)        Likely to excite feelings of disaffection to the Government established by law in Pakistan], or

(c)        Likely to deprave and corrupt persons present at the performance, the [Provincial Government], or such Magistrate as it may empower in this behalf, may by order prohibit the perfor­mance.

Explanation.—Any building or enclosure to which the public are admitted to witness a performance on payment of money shall be deemed a "public place" within the meaning of this section.


4.         Power to serve order of prohibition. Penalty for disobeying order. A copy of any such order may be served on any person about to take part in the performance so prohibited, or on the owner or occupier of any house, room or place in which such performance is intended to take place; and any person on whom such copy is served, and who does, or willingly permits, any act in disobedience to such order, shall be punished on conviction before a Magistrate with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.


5.         Power to notify order. Any such order may be notified by proclamation, and a written or printed notice thereof may be stuck up at any place or places adapted for giving information of the order to the persons intending to take part in or to witness the performance so pro­hibited.


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