Sindh High Court Halts PEMRA’s Restrictions on Court Reporting Until June 6 | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Sindh High Court Halts PEMRA’s Restrictions on Court Reporting Until June 6

Pakistan Press Foundation

On May 27, the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued an interim order preventing the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) from taking any coercive measures against television reporters covering court proceedings until June 6. This decision comes in response to a petition filed by journalists from various private TV channels, challenging directives issued by PEMRA.

The Pemra notification, issued on May 21, prohibits television channels from airing tickers or headlines related to ongoing court cases and limits reporting to written court orders.

The petition, filed by reporters Shahid Hussain, Mohammad Asghar, Irfan-ul-Haq, Amin Anwar, and Shaukat Korai earlier in the day, argued that PEMRA’s orders effectively imposed a broad prohibition on court coverage, which they claimed was tantamount to an unauthorized amendment to the PEMRA Code of Conduct established in 2015. Such amendments, they contended, require a fair trial and due process, which were not observed.

Chief Justice Aqeel Abbasi, while granting the suspension, stressed the importance of responsible reporting, noting that reporting certain remarks and observations can sometimes misrepresent the judiciary.

The Sindh High Court issued notices to PEMRA and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, seeking a response by June 6. The court reporters’ petition argued the ban was imposed without due process and violated constitutional protections for fundamental rights, freedom of speech, the press, and the right to information.

The PEMRA notification had also been challenged in the high courts of Lahore and Islamabad. The courts have also heard challenges to the ban, issuing notices to relevant parties and scheduling further hearings.


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