Private members boycott Pemra BoD meeting
ISLAMABAD: The meeting of Board of Director (BoD) of Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) was deferred without any result due to private members’ boycott over the issue that acting chairman PEMRA could not chair the meeting under PEMRA rules, The Nation has learnt.
Well-placed sources informed this scribe that PEMRA meeting was held by Acting Chairman PEMRA Pervaiz Rathor for the first time after his restoration on the orders of the Supreme Court to discuss media affairs and role of private media in the ongoing political situation. He mentioned that all government members attended the meeting including secretary information, chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). He added that three private members also attended the meeting and two private members Ziba Hassan from Sindh and Shama Parveen Magsi from Balochistan could not attend the meeting because the PEMRA did not provide them air tickets.
Sources mentioned that private members pointed out that acting chairman cannot chair the meeting and it was clear in apex court’s order that the chairman would look after the day-to-day matters of the authority and how is it possible that chairman chairs the meeting and violates the rules and regulations.
Talking to The Nation a private member said that it was the PEMRA’s responsibility to provide travel facilities to all members but it could not facilitate two private members intentionally. He said that one of missing members offered that she could join the meeting through Skype but the chairman denied her offer without any solid reason.
He said when private members asked under which law the authority suspended the ARY TV transmission and fined Rs 10 million, the Chairman FBR replied that PEMRA was not bound to brief all issues to each member.
After getting this kind of response by the government members, all three private members including Israr Abbasi, Fareeha Iftikhar and Mian Shams boycotted the meeting and left the PEMRA building.
IHC SEEKS PEMRA CHIEF’S REPLY IN COURT CONTEMPT PLEA
Shahid Rao adds: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday issued notices to the acting chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in a contempt of court petition moved against him for not complying with the court orders.
Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi directed Acting Chairman PEMRA Pervez Rathore to submit his reply in one week in the matter. The court issued these directions after two private members of PEMRA contended before the court that the respondent acting chairman PEMRA is violating status quo orders of the IHC dated June 09, 2014.
The petitioners including Israr Ahmad Abbasi and Fareeha Iftikhar, private members of PEMRA, cited Pervez Rathore as respondent through a contempt of court application. They maintained in the petition that despite the said court orders where IHC bench had directed the respondent to only look after some day-to-day affairs, the respondent in violation of the orders convened meetings of the PEMRA members first on September 02 and second on September 17.
The counsel for the petitioners Malik Tahir Mehmood Advocate informed the court that another contempt of court petition was moved earlier where the same IHC bench had directed Rathore to appear before the court along with original record. He added that while hearing in the said previous contempt petition, the acting chairman PEMRA had assured the court that he would comply with the court orders but convening meeting of the authority was a violation. Earlier on July 15, 2014, the IHC bench had suspended appointment notification of Rathore that was later restored by the Supreme Court. However, the apex court did not set aside the IHC status quo orders of June 09.