SC seeks reply from Pemra, PTA
ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought comprehensive reply from the PEMRA and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority over showing objectionable and obscene programmes on TV channels.
The chief justice remarked that some TV channels were promoting some groups and people. He said paid programmes are conducted and shown on channels wherein the TV anchors slander the personalities.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali was hearing suo motu case. Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed and former Ameer Jamaat Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmed (late) had written letters to the then chief justice for taking action against those TV channels that show obscenity.
During the proceeding, Justice Jamali expressing concerns over ineffectiveness in monitoring of programmes criticised the PEMRA for failing to control objectionable contents on private TV channels.
The PEMRA counsel told that they had issued notice to those TV channels that violate the code of conduct. The chief justice said the PEMRA instead of issuing only advices and warnings should award strict and exemplary punishments. “If the code of conduct would be followed then all problems would be solved automatically,” the CJP said.
The bench asked from the PEMRA counsel, as there are not talk-shows being run on various channels where discussion is aimed at sabotaging democracy? It further said that there are programmes holding discussions against the ideology of Pakistan and promoting extremism and fanaticism in the country.
Justice Azmat Saeed, another member of the bench, said that during the dictators’ regimes the newscasters were fired from service as they refused to take ‘duppata’. He further said in talk-shows decent language is not used, adding the media has right to criticise but it should not cross the red-line.
He said: “We are not saying that there should be complete silence as it would shut the door of positive criticism.” The judge said in talk-shows the participants use bad language.
The PEMRA’s lawyer told that they had fined a news channel one million rupees on the advice of the Council of Complaint, after which the channel obtained a stay order from the High Court. He admitted that there was a need to make PEMRA’s laws stricter.
Two weeks ago, PEMRA had issued a notice to a private news channel against a show where the anchor questioned the impartiality of the chief justice. He alleged that the children of the chief justice own several properties in Karachi.
The JI counsel said that there is a need to save our children from the menace of Internet, saying it spoiling their minds. Justice Azmat asked the lawyer that today if he is talking about Internet then tomorrow will say the libraries are bad. The judge asked the lawyer whether he wanted that children heads are tighten in iron sheet so that they become ‘Dolay Shah de Chohay’ (Rats of Dolay Shah). The case was adjourned for one month.