- IHC rules media regulatory body can take action against TV channels if prohibited content is aired
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday declared null and void the order of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ban live telecasts of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, and instead asked the media regulatory body to implement the delay system while broadcasting live material to stop the prohibited content from being aired, Aaj News reported.
In its detailed verdict, the court, headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, ruled that TV channels are bound to follow PEMRA's orders as per the directions of the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan.
The court, in its judgement, further noted that PEMRA can take action against TV channels if prohibited content is aired.
On Monday, IHC disposed of a plea challenging the PEMRA orders to ban live telecasts of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
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.
On August 21, PEMRA had banned the live telecast of Imran's speeches and said television channels can only run recorded ones.
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.