THE DRAMATIC PERFORMANCES ACT, 1876.
(Act No. XIX of 1876)
1. Short title.2. Magistrate defined.3. Power to prohibit certain dramatic performances. 4. Power to serve order of prohibition, Penalty for disobeying order.5. Power to notify order.6. Penalty for disobeying prohibition. 7. Power to call for information. 8. Power to grant warrant to police to enter and arrest and seize.9. Saving prosecutions under Penal Code, sections 124-A and 294.10. Power to prohibit dramatic performance in any local area, except under license. 11. [Repealed]12. Exclusion of performance at religious festivals.
THE DRAMATIC PERFORMANCES 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 This Act may be called the Dramatic Performances Act, 1876.
It extends to *[the whole of Pakistan].
2[* * * * * *]
2. In this Act “Magistrate” means, 3[* * *] the Magistrate of the district.
Power to prohibit certain dramatic performances.
3. Whenever the ^Provincial Government] is of opinion that any play, pantomime or other drama performed or about to be performed 5[or any film, picture or slide, displayed or about to be displayed] 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 theperformance, or 1(d} repugnant to the tenets of Islam,the 4[Provincial Government 8[* * * *] or such Magistrate as it may empower in this behalf, may by order prohibit the performance-
1. Subs, by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960(XXI of 1960), (with effect from the 14th October, 1955), for "all the Provinces and the Capital of the Federation" which had been subs, by A.O., 1949, for "the whole of British India". 2 The words "And it shall come into force at once" rep. by the Repealing and Amending Act, 191 4 (X of 1914). 3. The words "in the Presidency-towns, a Magistrate of Police, and elsewhere" omitted by A.O., 1949. 4. Subs, by A. O., 1937, for "Local Government. 5. Ins. By N.W.F.P., Act. No. XIX of 1987. 6 Subs, by the Federal Laws (Revision and Declaration) Act, 1951 (XXVI of 1951,for "British India [for British Burma"]' The words in brackets had been ins. by A.O., 1937. 7. Ins. by N.W.F.F , Act. No. XIX of 1987.
8. These words omitted by A. O., 1949.Dramatic Performances [1876 : Act XIX
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.
Power to serve order or prohibition.
5. Any such order may be notified by proclamation, and a f written or printed notice thereof may be stuck up at any place or c places adapted for giving information of the order to the persons intending to take part in or to witness the performance so prohibited.
Power to notify order.
6. Whoever after the notification of any such order—
Penalty for disobeying prohibition.
(a) takes part in the performance prohibited thereby or in any performance substantially the same as the performance so prohibited, or(b) in any manner assists in conducting any such performance, or(c) is, in wilful disobedience to such order, present as a spectator during the whole or any part of any such performance, or(d) being the owner or occupier, or having the use of any house, room or place, opens, keeps or uses the same for any such performance, or permits the same to be opened, kept or used for any such performance,shall be punishable on conviction before a Magistrate with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.7. For the purpose of ascertaining the character of any intended public dramatic performance, the [Provincial Government], or such officer as it may specially empower in this behalf, may apply to the author, proprietor or printer of the drama about to be performed or to the owner or occupier of the place in which it is intended to be performed, for such .information as the 1 [Provincial Government] or such officer thinks necessary.
Dramatic Pfrfwwancte 1876: Act XIX
Every person so applied to shall be -bound-to furnish the same to the best of his ability; and whoever, contravenes* this section? shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section 176>;o£.., the Pakistan Penal Code. (XLV of 1360)
Power to grant warrant to police to enter and arrest and seize.
8. If any Magistrate has reason to believe that any house, room"or place is used; or is about be used, for any performance prohibited under this Act-, he may by his warrant, authorize any -Officerof Police to enter with such assistance as may be requisite, by nigh4or by day, and by force, if necessary, any such house, room or place,and to take into custody all persons whom he finds therein, and toseize all scenery, dresses and other articles found therein and reason.,ably suspected to have been used, or to be intended to be used. forthe purpose of such performance.
Saving of prosecutions under penal Code, sections 124-A and 294.
9.No conviction under this A-ct shall bar a> prosecution, under - section124: A or section 294 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Power to prohibit dramatic performance in any local area, except under license.
10. Whenever it appears to the '[Provincial Government thatthe provisions of this section are required in any local area, itmay 5[*- * *] declare, by 'notification in- -the- Official Gazjette],that such provisions are applied to such area from a day. to be fixedin the notification.
On and after -that day, the 1[Provincial Government] may order that no dramatic performance shall take place in-any place of public entertainment within such area, except under a license to be granted by such ^Provincial Government],--;or such officer as it may specially empower in this behalf.The [Provincial Government] may also order that no dramatic performance shall take place in any place of-1 public entertainment within such area, unless shall copy of the piece, if and so far as it is written, or some sufficient account of its 'purport, if and/so far as it is in pantomime, has been furnished, not-less than three days before the performance to the '[Provincial Government] or to such officer as 'may appoint in* this behalf.
1. Subs, by A.O., 1^37, for "Local Government .
2. The provision of Section 10 shall apply to the whole of N. W. F. P. with" effect Irani He 4th January, 1955, for certain condition, s« gazette of N. W. P.P., 1955Pt 1,P.3. The Words “with the sanction of the G.G. in C.” reply the Decentralization Act, 1914. (IV of 1914).4. Subs. by A. O. 1937, for “Local Official Gazette.”
Dramatic Performances 1876: Act XIX
A copy of any order under this section may be served on any keeper of a place of public entertainment ; and if thereafter he does, or willingly permits, any act in disobedience to such order, he shall be punishable on conviction before a Magistrate with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine. or with both.11. Powers exercisable by Governor-General]. Rep. /'v A.O., 1937.
12. Nothing in this Act applies to any Jatrasor performances of a like kind at religious festivals.
Exclusion of performance at religious festivals.