ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has dismissed an appeal of ARY television against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) order for banning the programme, ‘Live with Dr Shahid Masood’ for 45 days from August 15.
Pemra had banned the TV show for making comments which cast aspersions on the Sindh High Court (SHC) chief justice. The regulatory authority gave order on August 10 while accepting the recommendations of the Council of Complaints and imposed penalties on the private TV channel.
While delivering the verdict on Monday, Judge Aamer Farooq said the appeal – filed by owner and CEO of ARY Media Communication – was without merit.
In his judgment, the judge noted that although the examination of the words used in the programme showed that no name was taken, it was evident and clear that the opinion and remarks were referred to the chief justice of SHC.
“This becomes further evident from the proceedings initiated by the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case titled Sindh High Court Bar Association versus Federation of Pakistan.”
On this matter, the apex court order dated July 15 observed the matter and ruled that: “We have noticed that few days before the abduction of Mr Owais Ali Shah, through social and other electronic media, a campaign of vilification has been started against the Judges of the Superior Judiciary at different levels for which no action has so far been taken by the relevant forums. After the abduction of Mr Owais Ali Shah, a regular campaign of character assassination of Superior Court judges has been started and no one from the relevant authorities has either shown concern or taken action.”
The court also remarked, “To our understanding it is the PTA and/or PEMRA who are the relevant authorities for the purpose of taking actions against such a campaign maligning the institution.”
The IHC judge said that as the host did not challenge the order in the instant appeal, therefore, the same has attained finality.