IHC maintains stay order on issuance of new TV licences
Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday maintained its stay order till June 10 against issuance of new TV licences by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).
The bench directed the chairman Pemra and board members to submit an affidavit, assuring that the rights of current licence holders’ wouldn’t be affected.
The counsel of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) Faisal Saddiqui pleaded that the cable operators would become more influential with introduction of more TV channels. He questioned if Pemra had already regularised 124 TV channels before issuing more 70 licences.
He argued that there were 89 channels members of PBA and Pemra’s decision would affect their rights.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that Pemra was not authorised to take any decisions which affects the freedom of expression. With Pemra’s decision, the control would be shifted to unregistered cable operators, he observed and asked channels regulatory body to satisfy the bench how the issuance of new licences wouldn’t affect the right of current licence holders. The bench adjourned hearing of the case till June 10.