Pemra imposes fines on TV channels
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Council of Complaints Lahore in its 59th meeting held under the chairmanship of Dr Mehdi Hasan on Wednesday. The Council recommended imposition of a Rs 100,000 fine on Channel-24 for conducting malicious and defamatory programs by its anchor Mubashar Lucman against Punjab Police and also directed the channel to air an apology in the same manner and magnitude.
The Council while deciding two different complaints of Muhammad Anwar and Tabinda Shabbir against Channel-24 passed remarks that all Satellite TV Channels should strictly adhere to the Code of Conduct -2015 implemented by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and TV channels should not be used as platform to churn malaise, hate or personal bias against any individual or group.
The Council urged all TV channels to form effective editorial boards for gate keeping of their content. The Council also directed Channel-24 to deposit earlier outstanding fine of Rs 30,000 imposed in its 56th meeting, within two (02) weeks, or face suspension of license.
Taking serious cognisance of telecast of highly objectionable comments of a caller against judiciary in live Din News program “Pakistan Online with PJ Mir” dated 29-12-2015 & 21-01-2016; the Council recommended a fine of Rs 100,000 besides airing apology in the same manner & magnitude in the same program.
The Council also recommended reprimanding channel for not-appearing before the Council and failure to comply with its orders passed in 56th and 58th meetings. Council also expressed its concerns on failure of Din News Channel to install time delay mechanism, non-formation of editorial boards and failure to follow the Code of Conduct.
The recommendations of the Council shall be presented before the Chairman PEMRA for approval in the light of powers delegated to him by the Authority.
Other Council members including Dr Sughara Sadaf, Dr Mubashar Nadeem, Dr Lubna Zaheer, Fauzia Viqar and Dr M. Safdar Rehman (RGM /Secretary CoCs, Lahore) were also present in the meeting.