IHC asks PEMRA to submit SC orders on vilification drive
Islamabad – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) yesterday directed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to submit verified copies of Supreme Court’s orders, which it issued after taking notice of vilification campaign on electronic media against the judges of the apex court.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of a matter wherein a private television channel ARY has challenged PEMRA’s order imposing a ban of 45 days on its programme “Live With Dr Shahid Masood” for casting aspersions about the chief justice Sindh High Court.
Justice Aamer directed the PEMRA to submit copies of the apex court’s orders till September 5 and deferred the hearing for further proceedings.
During the hearing, the counsel for ARY Shah Khawar Advocate contended before the court that Dr Shahid Masood never directly accused any judge of the superior judiciary by name.
However, he argued that it was PEMRA which committed contempt of court by clearly naming the judge through its notice.
He continued that PEMRA could only initiate action on a complaint that is absent in this matter.
Shah Khawar maintained that council of complaint without providing a chance to Dr Shahid Masoon imposed a ban that was not even within its ambit of powers.
PEMRA’s council of complaint does not even have powers to recommend ban on a television channel.
The court inquired that if this petition has been filed by the television channel or Dr Shahid Masood and the counsel replied that it is filed by the television channel.
He informed the court that federal investigation agency has been investigating Dr Shahid Masood for an alleged smearing campaign against judges of the superior judiciary through his Facebook account.
Dr Masood then filed an application that the Facebook account does not belong to him and FIA should take action against the person who created fake account in his name.
But, the FIA has taken no action in this regard till this time.
The counsel for PEMRA informed the IHC that an apex Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim is already hearing in a matter regarding malicious campaign against judges of the superior judiciary that is fixed for hearing on September 8.
He requested the court to hear in this matter after the hearing of Supreme Court while ARY counsel said that till then their writ petition will become infructuous.
However, the IHC bench directed PEMRA to submit orders of different dates issued by the apex court that is hearing in the said matter and deferred the proceedings.