Pemra service rules challenged
ISLAMABAD: The director general (DG) administration of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday challenged the Pemra service rules in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Pemra DG administration Mohammad Asim Khitchi in his petition said that the authority had applied the rules on its employees which were meant for the broadcasters.
Pemra DG administration Mohammad Asim Khitchi filed the petition in the background of a petition filed by another Pemra official Javed Iqbal last month challenging his (Mr Khitchi) posting from the information ministry to Pemra.
In his petition, Pemra official Javed Iqbal contended that under the Pemra service rules the post of DG administration could not be filled through deputation and the appointment could only be made through departmental promotion.
He requested the court to repatriate him to his parent department “Press Information Department” of the ministry of information and broadcasting.
In his petition, the Pemra DG (administration) requested the court to club the petition of the employee and hear both of them simultaneously.
IHC Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi after hearing preliminary arguments issued notice to Perma chairman and directed him to submit reply in a fortnight.
Arguing the case, Hafiz Arfat Ahmed, counsel for the petitioner, said Pemra was established in 2002 to regulate the affairs of electronic media houses and was empowered to issue licences for the establishment of new radio and television channels.
Referring to Section 4 of Pemra Ordinance 2002, the counsel said the authority had defined the process for redressal of media houses’ grievances according to which they can challenge the Pemra decision within 30 days.
He then pointed out that the section manifestly pertained to the establishment and operation of media houses and cable operators but the authority incorporated it (Section 4) in its service rules promulgated in 2011.
In the Pemra regulations, the authority has allowed its employees to challenge the management decisions in the same manner the media houses do.
According to him, the Pemra Ordinance 2002 was silent in the matter related to the service regulations and the authority could only make service rules after amending the Pemra Ordinance.