TV channel fined Rs1m over hate speech
ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) has directed Bol TV and its anchor Aamir Liaquat, the host of “Aisa Nahi Chale Ga” programme, to tender an unconditional apology to viewers for airing hate speech against individuals (complainants) on or before March 31.
“The Authority in exercise of its powers conferred inter alia under Section 27 and Section 29 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 has unanimously decided that on or before March 31, 2017, the channel and Dr Amir Liaquat, shall separately, during the same time slot of the programme “Aisa Nahi Chale Ga”, by specifically naming all individual complainants against whom hate speech was aired, apologise unconditionally to the viewers for airing the hate-speech,” said a Press release issued by the PEMRA.
The decision was taken at the 127th meeting of Authority after taking into account the opinions and recommendations submitted by the joint meeting of the Council of Complaints Sindh and Lahore that was held on the orders of the Supreme Court regarding complaints against Aamir Liaquat for his Bol TV programme “Aisa Nahi Chale Ga.”
The PEMRA order also said that the said channel shall also ensure that text to the same effect is also scrolled /displayed on the screen during the entire programme wherein Amir Liaquat apologises to the viewers.
“The licensee shall submit an affidavit by March 31, 2017, to the PEMRA, assuring the Authority that no hate speech or any content in violation of the electronic media (programmes and advertisements) code of conduct 2015 shall be aired in the future.”
The PEMRA further decided that in case of failure of the channel and/or the host of the said programme, either in part thereof or as a whole of the above decision, broadcasting or re-broadcasting or distributing of the programme “Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga” and appearance on BOL TV, in any manner, whatsoever, of its host Dr Amir Liaquat, shall stand prohibited with effect from April 1, 2017 till such a time compliance to the above decision is made.
A fine of Rs 1 million was also imposed on the channel to be deposited within 15 days of issuance of the decision.
“The licensee is warned that in the case of failure to comply with the order or in the case of violation of the PEMRA laws and/or terms and conditions of the licence in the future, action under relevant provisions of PEMRA law shall be initiated,” PEMRA added.