Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeks PEMRA’s reply on barring Imran’s coverage
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued a notice to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and sought its reply against its order to stop coverage of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s appearance in court.
Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb presided over the hearing where the petitioner’s lawyer, Faisal Fareed Chaudhry, appeared before the court and said in his arguments that PEMRA’s order is against political activity. The lawyer added that “in the eyes of the law, PEMRA has exceeded its authority and if this abuse of power is not stopped, the media regulatory authority will do the same in the future”.
The court, speaking to the lawyer of the petitioner, said that the ban was for one day when the former prime minister appeared at Islamabad’s judicial complex. To this, the lawyer stated that “banning for one day, one hour or even three hours is beyond PEMRA’s authority”. Justice Aurangzeb then remarked that something had to be done about the vandalism that took place that day. “Public properties are vandalized and no one is ready to take responsibility. It is the least that can be said to not cover the events,” he furthered. The court issued a notice to PEMRA and adjourned the hearing of the case for an indefinite period.
On March 18, PEMRA prohibited the live coverage of events outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex, where the PTI chief appeared for a court hearing.
Referring to the clashes between law enforcement agencies and PTI supporters, the media regulator observed “with concern” that “TV channels are showing live footages/images of violent mob, attacks on police and law enforcing agencies”.
It claimed that such footage was seen on television screens without any “editorial oversight during a recent standoff between political party workers and law enforcing agencies in Lahore wherein violent mob used petrol bombs, injuring armless policemen and blazing police vehicles”.
Source: Daily News