IHC suspends single bench ruling over Ramazan transmission code
ISLAMABAD: A division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday set aside single bench’s decision regarding code of conduct for Ramazan transmissions.
The division bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani has has issued a 26-page written decision over the issue, suspending earlier orders to air call to prayer five times a day on all TV channels. The IHC also suspended the orders not to air ads before Maghrib prayers and airing Darood Sharif and prayers for national peace.
The 26-page court verdict declared the committee formed under Interior Ministry to monitor Indian content on TV channels and implementing Ramazan transmissions code of conduct as illegal.
According to the orders, the reports demanded by the court over Ramazan’s first Ashra is only the prerogative of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). “PEMRA is fully authorized to implement the code of conduct while the IHC cannot play the role of a regulator. PEMRA is the regulator and it is responsible to bind channels to its code of conduct while the channels should take steps keeping in view the sanctity of Ramazan,” according to the ruling.
IHC’s Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had earlier said that no ‘circus’ or ‘Neelam Ghar’ will be allowed to be broadcast on TV this Ramazan. While hearing a case concerning the implementation of the broadcast regulator’s code of conduct for Ramazan transmissions and morning shows on television on May 8, he had also issued contempt of court notices to nine persons, including owners of television channels and anchors for violation of Ramazan guidelines during their shows.
The exhibition and screening of Indian and foreign films will be banned from two days before the Eid to until two weeks after the holiday.
Under this ban no cinema across Pakistan will be allowed to show Indian movies during the Eid holidays, which is the golden time for a big business for new movies.
A notification was issued by the ministry of information and broadcasting in order to impose temporary ban on movies. An official of Pakistan Film Exhibitiors Association said, ‘The notification says that the temporary ban is being imposed in order to promote local movies on the festivals, a time when usual than larger audience is attracted towards cinemas.”
The notification will also be applied during Eid-ul-Adha holidays. The ban is imposed because of constant complains of local producers and artists that their new films face stiff completion from the Indian and Hollywood movies on such occasions.