IHC imposes ban on airing controversial TV programmes during Ramazan
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday imposed ban on airing of controversial TV programmes during the holy month of Ramazan and directed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure implementation of its Ramazan transmission guidelines.
The court directed the committee comprising secretaries information and interior, and PEMRA chairman to submit the implementation report regarding the television transmissions during first ten days of Ramazan to the court.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Saddiqui of the IHC announced the short order in a case filed by Muhammad Waqas Malik Advocate against the controversial Ramazan programmes telecast by TV channels.
The short order stated that the programmes pertaining to the ‘circuses’, ‘Nelaam Ghar’, and conducting lottery etc would not be telecast during the holy month.
The court directed the TV channels to ensure that the hosts of their programmes or the guests would not compromise on Ramazan’s respect during their shows.
The order further read that all TV channels would ensure five times’ ‘prayer Azaan’ in a day during the month.
It added that the 10 percent foreign transmission should also be monitored.
Earlier, during the course of proceedings, Justice Saddiqui remarked that Ramazan was a month of revelation of the Holy Quran and it was unethical to transmit programmes related to lottery, Nelaam Ghar, circus and distributing Umrah tickets etc during the holy month.
He directed that notices should be served to TV anchors, including Sahar Lodhi, Aamer Liaquat, Waseem Badami, Fahad Mustafa and others to observe the sanctity of the holy month during their programmes and if they failed to follow the PEMRA guidelines in that regard, they would be banned for life time to host TV programmes.
Justice Saddiqui remarked that no TV channel cared about the country’s geographical boundaries as well as its Islamic ideology in their programmes.
However, Barrister Ali Zafar, counsel for Pakistan Broadcasting Association, contended that freedom of expression was the basic right of everyone. The state institution PEMRA was authorized to take action against TV channels for violating the code of conduct and the court could issue directives to it in case of failure to observe its duty, he added.
On which, Justice Saddiqui observed that programmes like lottery etc were illegal and the court could not declare the same legal. The court could not shut its eyes in that regard, he added.