Petition for TV licence cancellation admitted
LAHORE, Feb 26: A full bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday admitted a constitutional petition seeking cancellation of Geo TV network’s licence.
Filed by Mubarik Ali Chaudhry, chairman of the Awami Hamayat Tehrik, Pakistan, the petition has also sought a ban on the network transmissions for telecasting a programme which, according to him, had lowered the dignity of the judiciary.
The court issued notices to the federal government and the heads of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for March 9, the next date of hearing when proceedings would also be taken up in an earlier contempt of court proceedings against the same network.
The petitioner pointed out that PTA and Pemra had granted licences to the respondent for running a channel subject to terms and conditions of Telecommunication Corporation Reorganisation Act, 1996. But the respondent did not follow these rules and worked against the integrity and solidarity of the country.
Counsel for the TV network, Aitzaz Ahsan, pleaded that he contacted the LHC office to get the copies of the petition and relevant record so that he could go through the material on the basis of which contempt proceedings were initiated against the respondents, but the same was not given to him.
The bench ordered the LHC office to provide required copies to the respondents to enable them to file their replies by March 9.
The court also deferred the matter of exempting Mir Shakeelur Rahman from personal appearance for the next date of hearing.