SC orders not being implemented: CJ -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

SC orders not being implemented: CJ

ISLAMABAD: After listening to arguments of the parties during the hearing of the contempt petition filed by Geo Super, the Supreme Court directed Pemra to submit a monitoring report today (Tuesday).

During the hearing Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry remarked that PTV has the rights to telecast World Cup matches only on antenna. Apart from antenna, PTV cannot use satellite telecast rights. Under the Pemra ordinance cable operators too are not free to do whatever they want.

Headed by the chief justice, the three-member bench comprising Justice Sair Ali and Justice Rabbani heard the case. Geo Super advocate Mohammad Akram Sheikh in his arguments told the court that chairman Pemra and MD PTV had violated Supreme Courts orders. He said on PTV Home, Cricket World Cup matches are being shown inside and outside the country and besides antenna, these telecasts continue on cable and satellite.

For this purpose, he said, they have also distributed echolink decoders. We do not have any dealing with cable operators because they are controlled by Pemra. During the cricket matches Geo Super telecasts are not shown clear. Signals are also downed.

PTV’s lawyer Raza Kazim said the Supreme Court had issued an order to Pemra in this regard. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said PTV Home apparently had no right to show World Cup matches on cable, and it had rights to telecast matches through antennas only. Raza Kazim said PTV had rights to telecast matches via antennas, and matches were broadcast live through antennas.

Geo Super has satellite rights, but it is necessary for cable operators that they broadcast only on registered channels. Chief Justice Iftikhar said: “When opinion of technical experts will be available, we will see that orders of the Supreme Court are being violated or not”.

Raza Kazim said: “We broadcast through antennas free of cost and cable operators broadcast our signals after getting them free of cost”. Chief Justice Iftikhar said cable operators were not free under Pemra licences to do whatever they want to do.

“We will take action, if it is proved that court order has been violated. We cannot proceed without taking opinion of experts. This opinion is necessary because we could decide who is committing violations. We wish Supreme Court orders are implemented according to their spirit, but probably our orders are not being implemented,” the chief justice said.

Pemra advocate Ali Raza Kazim said Geo Super has telecast rights to show World Cup on satellite. There are total of 4,000 cable operators in Pakistan, and 39 cable operators involved in violations have been switched off. Cable operators have been ordered not to do illegal distribution of anyone except Geo Super because only Geo Super possessed the rights to broadcast matches through satellite.

On the orders of the court, the Pemra’s lawyers gave names of a few experts, whereas the Geo Super lawyer proposed the name of Javed Jabbar. However, the court postponed the hearing till today (Tuesday) when the Pemra’s lawyer sought time. The chief justice ordered the Pemra lawyer to present a report today (Tuesday) after conducting monitoring for a day that apart from antennas PTV was not using broadcast rights on satellite.

During the hearing, Geo Super lawyer presented a recorded telephone conversation between a cable operator and a PTV official. However, the court expressed annoyance, saying: “You cannot record conversations”.
Source: The News
Date:3/1/2011