Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority clarifies report, The News stands by it
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has issued the following clarification in response to The News story titled “Supreme Court barred chairman still running Pemra, calls meeting” published on Wednesday, January 9, 2013.
It is clarified that in compliance of the order of Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 20-12-2012, passed in Constitution Petition No 105/2012, Dr Abdul Jabbar has been officially restrained from acting as or representing himself as chairman or acting chairman of Pemra.
The same was notified by Pemra to all concerned for future correspondence vide notification No 4(637)/2008-HR, dated 24-12-2012. Copy of the same was submitted to the Registrar Office, Supreme Court of Pakistan for information. Therefore, it is a misconceived notion that Dr Abdul Jabbar is exercising powers of the Pemra chairman in violation of December 20, 2012 judgment.
However, it may please be noted that the Honourable Supreme Court had barred Dr Abdul Jabbar to look after as chairman of the Authority but did not order dissolution of whole organization or stopped Pemra from functioning. Under Section 6 of Pemra Act 2007, the Authority consists of twelve members besides one chairman.
As far as holding of 81st Authority meeting is concerned, it is clarified that during the proceedings of 80th Authority meeting presided by the member, elected by the members in absence of Chairman under Section 8 (1) of Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by the Amendment Act 2007, decided that 81st meeting of the Authority will be held on 11-01-2013 at 1500 hours to dispose of the important agenda items which were deferred to next meeting due to time constraint.
The decision of the Authority to assemble was solely taken by the Authority itself and was not summoned by Dr Abdul Jabbar (Executive Member) on his behest. The acts/decisions of the Authority are protected under Section 3 (4) of Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by the Amendment Act 2007.
It is not highly relevant to mention that Dr Abdul Jabbar, Executive Member Pemra, ordered holding the Authority meeting nor did he given approval to notify the circular.
The letter referred in the story was circulated by the Secretary to the Authority on consensual decision of all Authority Members to hold meeting on the given day and was also provided to Dr Abdul Jabbar, Executive Member Pemra to attend.
Copy was therefore addressed to all internal officials only to ensure their availability under Rule 3 (3) of Pemra Rules 2009 till the authority meeting is concluded.
Dr Abdul Jabbar, Executive Member Pemra, has always followed the directions/orders of Honourable Courts and implemented the same in letter and spirit.Ahmad Noorani Adds: The Pemra clarification is totally misleading and is a routine exercise of clarifying each and every story.
The News has quoted Pemra Law (Section 8(1) and Pemra rules (Rule 3(4) which establishes that only the Pemra chairman can summon an authority meeting and even all the members of the authority could not decide regarding summoning of the meeting. Any such meeting will be illegal and no decision taken will have any legal authority.
The January 11 meeting has, in fact, been called by Dr Jabbar to accomplish certain agenda items before the appointment of next chairman. Rules are clear that even if the authority has called meeting, it is illegal and same can only be done by a regular chairman.
For convenience, the Rule 3(4) of Pemra rules 2009 is again reproduced; “3 Meetings of the Authority, etc.- (4) The Chairman shall convene a meeting of the Authority either at his own accord or, as the case may be, on request of more than one half of the total membership. Also Section 8(1) of Pemra ordinance merely says that if in a meeting, chairman is not present, any member elected by the authority can preside over the meeting. It has nothing to do with summoning of the meeting.
Pemra clarification has also do not contradicted the fact that appointment of Dr Jabbar as Pemra executive member was illegal. The News stands by its story.