SC directs PEMRA to make rules for channels suspension

Apex court dismissing authority’s appeal upholds SHC decision

Picture source - supremecourt.gov.pk

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) appeal against the decision of Sindh High Court (SHC) regarding the shutting down of channels has been dismissed by Supreme Court.

The apex court heard the case pertaining to the PEMRA Chairman’s authority of suspending channels. The verdict of SHC regarding the suspension of the license of TV channels was upheld. PEMRA appealed against the appeal of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA). The order to make rules for the suspension of the license was also upheld by the apex court.

Lawyer Ahmed Pervez argued during the proceedings that PEMRA’s powers should be read separately. Upon which Justice Munib Akhtar said that the authority could be given but under a rule. The lawyer replied that there were no rules regarding the granting of powers.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan said that despite 20 years having passed but PEMRA has not made the rules. He said that since the decision of the high court a year has passed but still rules have not been passed.

The lawyer of PBA Faisal Siddique said that PEMRA Chairman had closed channels four times during the month. He said that if a channel is shut down for 10 days then it shuts down itself.

Justice Ahsan said that making rules was necessary but it is a different matter than who is authorized by the rules.

PBA had challenged the PEMRA Chairman’s authority of suspending channels in the SHC. The court had directed PEMRA to make rules for the suspension of channels.

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