‘Objectionable’ content: Top court urges PEMRA to rope in channels

Published: May 25, 2016
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DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

DESIGN: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

ISLAMABAD: The apex court has urged the country’s media regulatory authority to take action against TV channels airing programmes to sabotage the democratic setup as well as provoking sectarianism, saying values of the majority cannot be imposed on minorities.

On Tuesday, a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, took up the suo motu case against ‘obscene content’ broadcast on TV channels.

PEMRA puts 14 TV channels on notice

The CJP expressed annoyance over the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for not taking action against the TV channels for telecasting ‘fixed’ programmes, wherein the anchors defame individuals.

He questioned whether or not there was any conviction clause in Pemra laws, as exemplary punishments should be given in the country over libel and slander cases.

Pemra counsel SA Rehman told the judges the authority often issued notices to TV channels for violating the code of conduct.

PEMRA issues notices to TV channels for ‘hurling false allegations, giving airtime to terrorists’

But Justice Jamali said instead of issuing advices or warnings, Pemra should award strict punishments. “If the code of conduct is followed, all problems will be resolved automatically,” he added.

Rehman told the judges the authority had fined a news channel Rs1 million on the advice of the Council of Complaint, after which the channel obtained a stay order from the high court. He admitted there was a need to make stricter laws.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Pakistani
    May 25, 2016 - 10:57AM

    It is quite sad to see that there are far more pressing and important issues that require suo moto which remain untouched. Then again it is very easy to demand respect rather than earn it.Recommend

  • Abbas Khan
    May 25, 2016 - 10:59AM

    Some digital TV channels are overstepping all the redlines of ethics, aesthetics and etiquette in their marathon to assemble massive honorariums from mudslingers. PEMRA should be made powerful and influential. Probing, punishing, penalizing and prosecuting system should be introduced urgentlyRecommend

  • syed & syed
    May 25, 2016 - 2:21PM

    Stay orders and bail before arrest are free and in abundance. CJ should take noticeRecommend

  • J.Niaz
    May 25, 2016 - 3:54PM

    There should be proper follow up.Recommend

  • sabi
    May 25, 2016 - 4:03PM

    There are some channels clearly working on agenda to sabotage democratic process thereby paving way for autocratic rule which in other words is fascism. Ironically they are doing it in the name of their ‘democratic’ right. They have broken all records of morality in targeting individuals as well as state institutions. People who are on record inciting violence and hate against other faiths are being hired by renowned media houses and are projected as great religious scholars. It’s a matter of great pain and shame that concerned authority takes any notice. One hopes epics court will pursue its order till things are brought to order.Recommend

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