Private TV channel directed to air apology
ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has directed the private TV channel “Bol News” to air apology to viewers for casting aspersion against a serving officer of the armed forces in its programme “Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga” on June 27, 2017.
According to a statement issued by the Pemra, in the said programme, hate-based comments were aired against the officer who is posted in a war zone and even his name was revealed. That act of the TV channel was a gross violation of the Pemra Code of Conduct 2015.
A show cause notice was issued to M/s Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd (Bol News) on 7 July 2017 and the TV management was asked to explain its position within seven days and was also directed to appear for personal hearing on 14 July 2017.
On the said date of hearing no one appeared on behalf of M/s Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd (Bol News).
Later, the channel kept requesting adjournment and the Pemra accepted its adjournment request five times, that is on 14 July 2017, 1 August 2017, 21 August 2017, 12 September 2017 and 26 September 2017.
On the final date of the hearing that is 26 September 2017, the channel’s representative sought adjournment once again.
Upon this, the Pemra hearing committee after analysing the violation and reviewing the relevant video clip agreed that the Bol News had nothing to offer in its defence and recommended initiating ex-parte proceedings.
Considering the recommendations of the PEMRA hearing committee, the competent authority, in exercise of delegated powers of the authority has directed Bol News to air apology as stated below, within seven days in its programme “Aisay Nahi Chaly Ga” in the same manner and magnitude and at the same time.
The channel management has also been directed to appoint an in-house editorial committee to avoid such violations in the future.
In case of non-compliance, the case will be referred to the authority for action against the licensee under the Section 29 of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by the Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007 and other enabling provisions of the Pemra laws.