Axact TV channel's directors failed to show source of money, SHC told -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Axact TV channel’s directors failed to show source of money, SHC told

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: The Additional attorney general on Monday argued before the Sindh High Court that Axact’s channel license was cancelled due to lack of security clearance by the federal government as channel’s directors failed to disclose their source of investment to run the TV channel.

While, concluding arguments on the application of M/s Labaik against cancellation of its TV license by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority due to lack of security clearance, the additional attorney general, Salman Talibuddin, submitted that the SHC had also directed the petitioner to first decide the security clearance issue prior to approving the license of the channel. He submitted that the security clearance of the TV channel is a mandatory requirement for issuance of the license but the channel’s directors failed to justify their source of income and investment for telecasting the TV transmission.

He submitted the TV channel is being run on foreign funding and any person funded or sponsored by a foreign government or organisation could not be granted a broadcasting license and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has the right to cancel the license of TV channel which was being telecast on foreign investment.

He submitted that the channel failed to disclose the source of investment as prior to induction of the new directors the channel did not had sufficient money to run it. He said the money was invested by a Dubai based firm, although one director of the channel Ayesha Sheikh has no income source.

He submitted that that a money laundering case has been registered against the master mind of the channel and Axact chief executive officer Shoaib Sheikh which is pending before the trial court. Besides, the fake degree case in which the Axact employees sold fake degrees online was also pending before the trial court and the scam brought the country into disrepute. He submitted that the Federal Investigation Agency has initiated inquiry over the fake degree scam as it was reported in the international media that fake degree business was being run from the country. He submitted that a judicial officer has been removed from service on the charges of receiving bribe to acquit the Axact CEO and other co accused in the fake degree case and a re-trial was ordered by the Supreme Court. He requested the court to dismiss the application, as the applicant failed to disclose source of investment and any person funded or sponsored by a foreign government or organization could not be granted a broadcasting license

Earlier, the applicant’s counsel Anwar Mansoor Khan concluded his arguments. The SHC’s single bench headed by Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui after hearing the arguments of the AAG adjourned the case till April 23 for arguments of the Pemra counsel.

Labaik has challenged the Pemra order of cancellation of the Axact’s TV channel license due to lack of security clearance by the interior ministry. The Pemra had on May 3 revoked the licenses of Axact’s channels after the Interior Ministry rejected security clearance of the company’s directors.

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