SHC directs Pemra to submit progress report
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to submit a progress report regarding its council of complaint’s action on complaints of the Karachi University and its associate professor against three private TV channels for telecasting defamatory programmes and talk show.
The direction came on the petition of Dr. Mohammad Osama Shafiq, who filed a petition seeking direction to PEMRA and council of complaints to decide his complaints against three private TV channels for telecasting baseless and defamatory news and talk show at their respective programmes.
The petitioner’s counsel, Ayaz Ahmed Ansari, submitted that the private TV channels on the basis of false and baseless allegations without verifying or providing any opportunity to the petitioner and the KU to ascertain the truth about the allegations telecast the news about harassing the student. The counsel submitted that private TV channels telecast news and talk shows by scandalising the KU and teachers at the behest of a student who was blackmailing the petitioner as he refused to pass him in three papers in which he had failed.
The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, turned down the private TV channels’ request for vacating the interim stay order and observed that private TV channels would not be allowed to disgrace the people merely for the sake of its programme ratings.
The counsel of private TV channels requested the court to vacate the interim restraining order and filed comments on behalf of the TV channel. The counsel submitted that the student although he failed in three papers had filed harassment complaint on behalf of girls students before the KU.
The court observed that the aggrieved students could file a complaint by themselves and inquired the counsel whether any decision had been made at any forum on the complaint which was telecast by the private TV channels prior to any decision of the relevant forum. The court observed what was the purpose of telecasting such news except getting higher ratings of the programmes and how would the private TV channel compensate the victim if the allegations were later found to be false.
The court took an exception over the conduct of private TV channels and observed that there could be disastrous outcome and inquired whether such conduct of private TV channels could be tolerated in any civilised society. The court inquired private TV channels’ counsel as what he would feel if any news is telecast or published against him and observed that let the society go in civilized manner. The court observed that everyone is bent upon blackmailing each other and teachers have also respect and dignity as students.