Pemra issues notices to TV channels over airing Nehal’s speech
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Saturday issued show cause notices to news channels which had aired a controversial speech of ex-PML-N senator Nehal Hashmi in news bulletins, who allegedly criticised the armed forces.
The TV channels, which have been served show-cause notices, include Bol News, Neo TV, Channel 24, Samaa TV, 92 News, ARY News and Geo News. The authority has asked these channels to show cause in writing as well as directed their respective CEOs to appear for personal hearing on October 26 (Friday) at Pemra Headquarters here at 12:00pm as to why an appropriate action may not be initiated against them that may inter alia include imposition of fine or suspension of licence under Pemra laws.
A copy of the notice, issued to the TV channels, says that on October 19, these channels aired the speech of Nehal Hashmi, wherein aspersions were cast against the armed forces of Pakistan in violation of the code of conduct. “Whereas past conduct of Nehal Hashmi for giving controversial statements against the state institutions is well-known and he had been reprimanded by the Supreme Court for his conduct as well. Nevertheless, extending airtime to him is tantamount to wilful breach of the media ethics as well as Perma laws,” it said.
The authority contended that therefore, this act is in sheer violation of provisions of Section 20(b), (c), (d), (f) of Pemra Ordinance, 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act, 2007 read with Rules 15(1) of Pemra rules, 2009 and laws 2(a), 3(I) and other relevant rules of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015.
In case of failure to submit reply within the stipulated time and on non-appearance of CEOs for personal hearing, the authority shall be constrained to initiate ex-parte proceedings against the respective TV channels.