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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) disposed on Monday a plea challenging the Pakis­tan Electronic Media Regu­latory Authority’s (PEMRA) orders to ban live telecasts of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Aaj News reported.

Last week, the IHC had suspended PEMRA's decision of banning coverage of Imran's live speeches after Imran filed a petition.

Advocates Syed Ali Zafar and Faisal Fareed Chaudhary, appearing on behalf of the PTI chairman, contended that the impugned order was passed without observing the principles of procedural fairness.

Imran’s counsel stressed that the licensees are regulated by the Authority and that the appellant has no control over the electronic media channels. He; therefore, contended that the impugned prohibition order is ultra vires Articles 19 and 19-A of the Constitution, as well as, the Ordinance of 2002.

In its verdict, the IHC said that there was no valid reason for banning the former PM's live speeches.

During a hearing today, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah expressed his displeasure over Imran's recent statement about the appointment of the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

He asked the PTI counsel as to why his party was harming constitutional institutions, adding that it should not expect relief from courts.

“The armed forces are sacrificing their lives and you are trying to demoralize them,” the chief justice said.

During his speech at a rally in Faisalabad on Sunday, the PTI leader had alleged that the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were opposing fresh elections, because they wanted to “appoint an army chief of their choice” to save themselves from corruption cases.

“They are sitting in the government because they want to bring in an army chief of their choice through joint efforts," Imran said.

On August 21, PEMRA had banned the live telecast of Imran's speeches and said television channels can only run recorded ones.

IHC suspends PEMRA order of banning Imran Khan's live speeches on TV

The ban came a day after the PTI chairman hurled threats against Islamabad's police chief and a female judge for what he claimed was the arrest and alleged torture of his close aide Shahbaz Gill who is facing sedition charges.

"It has been observed that Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in his speeches/statements is continuously alleging state institutions by leveling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility,” PEMRA had said.


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