Lahore/Islamabad, March 9 (PTI) Pakistan’s High Court on Thursday revoked the federal government’s ban on broadcasting speeches and press conferences of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan from satellite channels.
Last week, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned a speech by the chairman of the Pakistan Justice Movement (PTI) party after the cricketer-turned-politician took aim at former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa for speaking to his supporters in Lahi. you.
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“Lahore High Court Judge Shamas Mahmood Mirza has suspended the ban imposed by PEMRA on broadcasting of speeches and news talks of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan,” a court official told PTI after Thursday’s hearing.
He said the Lahore High Court ordered the immediate lifting of the ban.
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Court passes order against former prime minister’s petition challenging PEMRA ban.
Judge Mirza delivered the verdict, sending the matter to the full bench and adjourning the proceedings until March 13.
Khan’s lawyer, Ahmad Pansota, argued that PEMRA issued the challenged order outside its jurisdiction without taking into account the constitutional rights guaranteed by Articles 19 and 19-A of the constitution.
“A simple reading of section 27 of the PEMRA regulations shows that it does not authorize the authorities to issue blanket restraining orders. The restraining orders appear to violate the principle of proportionality,” he argued.
Pansota said the judgment handed down by the Islamabad High Court declared a similar injunction against the petitioner on similar grounds as the ultra vires statute. He added that PEMRA had taken illegal and unlawful actions against the petitioners without consideration, at the instigation of the federal parties in power to resolve the political rivalry.
“Imran Khan is politically hurt by PEMRA as there is no violation of the law. The challenged ban violates Article 10-A of the Constitution and may be put on hold,” Pansota said.
Khan, 70, has been in the spotlight for his repeated criticism of the agency, accusing it of doing nothing to save his government, which was toppled last year in a no-confidence vote.
With PEMRA’s order suspended, the electronic media regulator on Thursday banned the broadcast and rebroadcast of content related to the actions of sitting judges of the country’s high court.
In its latest order, PEMRA directed the immediate banning of content on electronic media that violates the conduct of Supreme Court and High Court judges.
The regulator referred to its previous directives instructing all licensees to “avoid broadcasting any content directed at state institutions”, but various outlets ignored the guidelines and “constantly discussed the conduct of higher court judges and, through broadcasting, defamation allegation for plotting a defamation campaign”.
PEMRA stated that running any such material is in total violation of the authority’s laws and Supreme Court judgments. In its directive, it said it “prohibits, with immediate effect, the broadcasting/rebroadcasting in electronic media (news announcements, talk shows, etc.) of any content relating to the conduct of the esteemed sitting judges of the High and Supreme Courts”.
It ordered TV channels to put in place effective time-delay mechanisms and an “impartial editorial board”, while warning that licenses would be suspended for violators.
The orders come as leaked audio of Supreme Court justices has surfaced, raising questions about their integrity. PTI MZ/Shanghai
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)