PEMRA chief told to appear on June 15 -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PEMRA chief told to appear on June 15

LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court on Friday directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman to appear on June 15.

The bench, consisting of Justice Muhammad Muzammal Khan, Justice Syed Shabbar Raza Rizvi and Justice Hamid Ali Shah, was hearing two petitions filed by advocates MD Tahir and Mohammad Ashraf.

One petition challenged the operation of two private TV channels and the second was related to the freedom of press.

On March 12, Justice Hamid Ali Shah had referred the petitions to the Lahore High Court chief justice to constitute a larger bench.

Tahir, in his petition, requested the court to stop the government and PEMRA from interfering in the freedom of press. He alleged that the federation was determined to suppress the press, especially since the suspension of the chief justice of Pakistan.

In the second petition, Mohammad Ashraf submitted that two television channels were telecasting disinformation about current issues especially in relation to the chief justice’s issue.

He said that almost all the private television channels were trying to outdo one another in maligning the army and the judiciary.

He said that according to the PEMRA Ordinance 2002, channels were bound not to encourage violence, terrorism, extremism, militancy or hatred. However, almost all the TV channels, including respondents’ channels, were allegedly trying to undermine the integrity and solidarity of the country, he said. He requested that the government and the PEMRA should be directed to initiate punitive action against both channels.
Source: Daily Times
Date:5/19/2007