Pemra restrained from issuing licences
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday restrained the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) from issuing licences to media outlets for the establishment of television channels.
Justice Athar Minallah issued the status quo orders in a petition filed by a citizen seeking the cancellation of Pemra’s bidding process that it advertised for the award of new media outlet licences.
After issuing the restraining orders, the court put off the matter till October 14.
The petitioner, Chaudhry Mohammad Sharif, a resident of Gujrat, through his counsel Zulfiqar Malooka adopted before the court that he had applied for a satellite TV licence two years ago and also deposited the requisite amount of Rs200,000.
In a recent advertisement, Pemra announced that all the applicants for media outlet licences should participate in a bidding process.
The petitioner’s counsel told the court that the regulatory authority had also prescribed the criteria for the bidding process in April this year. He argued that the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Hamid Mir case had held that Pemra was incomplete without its permanent chairman. He said so far the chairman of Pemra has not been appointed, so the bidding process may not be initiated. He requested the court to stop the bidding process.