SHC allows BOL TV to launch transmission
KARACHI: Employees of BOL TV heaved a sigh of relief when the Sindh High Court on Wednesday allowed the news channel to launch its transmission.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan, put in abeyance the operation of an order issued by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to suspend the channel’s licence.
While restoring the licence, the court directed Pemra to file its reply on Oct 6, the next date of hearing.
The news channel had moved the SHC through a constitutional petition against the regulatory authority’s order.
The TV channel was set to be launched last year, but the plan was shelved after Axact, the parent company, became embroiled in a fake degree scandal.
The channel’s counsel contended that Pemra had suspended its licence on the recommendation of its council of complaints without hearing from the other side.
Last month, the SHC had granted bail to Axact’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shoaib Shaikh and 13 others in the degree case. Shaikh was also acquitted by a sessions court in Karachi on a charge related to money laundering.
The Axact scandal surfaced in May last year when the New York Times (NYT) published a report that claimed the company was involved in the sale of fake diplomas and degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools, making “tens of millions of dollars annually”.
Subsequently, the Axact’s offices were sealed, its CEO and other key officials arrested and an investigation launched on the basis of allegations levelled by NYT.