Islamabad High Court (IHC) has suspended the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) ban on live speeches of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan till September 5 by saying that PEMRA had exceeded its authority.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the matter filed by Imran Khan through his counsels Barrister Ali Zafar and Barrister Chaudhry. The PTI chairman’s lawyer had argued that Imran Khan wanted to hold a telethon for fund-raising for the flood affectees.
During the hearing, Barrister Ali Zafar, pointed out that PEMRA had said TV channels had not adopted the time-delay policy. He elaborated that there was a 12-second delay wherein channels could hear and exclude controversial statements.
Justice Minallah observed that the responsibility fell on TV channels [to omit such speeches] and action should be taken against them. He added that a person who had not been convicted could not face a ban.
The court thereafter suspended PEMRA’s ban on PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s speeches and issued notices to the regulatory body and its director.
It further adjourned hearing till September 5.
PEMRA had banned Imran Khan’s live speeches from being telecasted on August 21 after the PTI chairman had threatened higher officials of Islamabad police and a woman judge. The notification issued in the regard had stated that Imran Khan’s addresses were in open violation of PEMRA rules and Article 19 of the constitution. The ban was put under Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002.
Imran Khan is also due to be present in the court on August 31 in relation to contempt of court charges after he had threatened a woman judge during his speech at F9 park, Islamabad. A five-member bench of IHC would hear the case against the former PM.