Plea against Pemra chief: LHC again issues notices to Fed Govt, Pemra Listen

LAHORE: Justice Ayesha A. Malik of the Lahore High Court again issued notices Tuesday on a petition seeking action against Pemra Chairman Absar Alam for suspending transmission of all private news channels unlawfully during a police operation against participants of Islamabad sit-in.

The judge earlier had sought replies from the federal government and Pemra on a petition filed by Amina Malik of Civil Society Network but they were not submitted and the judge issued fresh notices to the respondents. Petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique said Pemra chairman had ordered to suspend the transmissions.

He asserted that this act of Absar Alam was sheer violation of Articles 19 and 19-A of the Constitution, which guarantee right to information. He said the role of the Pemra chairman has been partisan rather it totally failed to function independently as required by the law.

He submitted that Pemra cannot stop the channels from covering an event unless it amounts to defamation, contempt of court or hate speech. He said the appointment of Absar Alam as Pemra chief had also been challenged. He requested declaring order of the media regulatory authority’s chairman unlawful and order action against him.