Media allowed to broadcast LG results one hour after polls
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Friday allowed electronic media to air unofficial/unconfirmed result of local government election being held Saturday (today) after one-hour of polling.
Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan passed this interim order on two identical petitions of Pakistan Broadcaster Association and Ishtiaq Chaudhry against ban on airing unofficial result of the LG polls imposed by the election commission. Counsels for the petitioners argued that the impugned ban was in sheer violation of Article 19-A of the Constitution.
They said the media could not be barred from performing its duties. Citing example of recently held by-poll in NA-122, a law officer of the EC told the court that news channels used to air results before culmination of polling time and the results were found incorrect at later stage. He said the ban was imposed to avoid any scuffle among the candidates due to discrepancies in the unofficial and official results.
Justice Farrukh observed that the EC should have not put an absolute ban on media coverage of the poll’s results. He said the people had the right to information that could not be curbed. Relaxing the ban, the judge ordered that the news channels would air the results after one-hour of the polling end time on the basis of Form-14 prepared by presiding officers. Justice Khan said the channels should avoid sensationalism while airing the unofficial election results. The judge adjourned further hearing of the petitions for November 5.