Ban on radio channel: SHC extends stay against PEMRA order
Justice Azizullah Memon of the Sindh High Court on Friday extended till August 6 the stay order against the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) order banning the broadcast of BBC news bulletins by a local radio channel FM-103.
Pemra had recently banned airing news produced by BBC on FM-103, which was challenged in the SHC. FM-103 was airing BBC news bulletins from June 22 in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabd and Multan.
Appellant’s counsel Adnan I Chaudhry stated that BBC news bulletins were being broadcast by FM-103 after obtaining Pemra’s approval, which has now restrained the broadcaster from airing the same. Such broadcasts were not in violation of Pemra Ordinance-2002 or licence conditions of FM-103, thus the restriction imposed by Pemra was against the fundamental right of freedom of speech, he added.
BBC and FM-103 had earlier signed a contract for airing BBC news bulletin and Pemra was informed about it, which also approved the contract, the petitioner’s counsel stated, adding, in the light of Article 19 Pemra could not interfere in the contract lawfully executed between both the parties.
The SHC’s single bench, after hearing final arguments of the appellant’s counsel, adjourned the matter till August 6. Pemra’s counsel Kashif Haneef would start his arguments on the next date of hearing.
Source: The News