LHC nullifies DTH bidding process

Allows broadcasters to take part in auction, tells PEMRA to make new rules accordingly

Our Correspondent December 28, 2016
Allows broadcasters to take part in auction, tells PEMRA to make new rules accordingly. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday nullified the bidding process for Direct-to-Home (DTH) licences after striking down the rules which barred broadcasters from taking part in the auction.

The bench, comprising justices Ayesha A Malik, Shahid Karim and Abid Aziz Sheikh, accepted a constitutional petition filed by the Independent Newspapers Corporation and allowed broadcasters to bid for DTH licences, directing the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to formulate new regulations accordingly.

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In a 35-page judgment, the court ruled that, “Rules 13(3) and (4) of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Rules, 2009 along with regulations 2.11 and 3.23 of the Pemra Eligibility Criteria and Bidding Procedure for Direct-to-Home Distribution Service Licensing Regulations, 2016 have gone beyond the authorised mandate of section 23(2) of the Pemra Ordinance and are inconsistent with the intent of the ordinance, hence declared to be without lawful authority, of no legal effect and are hereby struck down.”

“Needless to mention that the rules and DTH regulations shall be made as per the intent of the ordinance and not in conflict with the ordinance,” the court further ruled.

Pakistan’s first DTH licences auctioned for Rs 14.69 billion

The Supreme Court on November 23 had conditionally allowed Pemra to initiate the bidding process for DTH licences but subjected the awarding of permits to the final decision of the LHC.

Petitioner’s counsel Asma Jahangir had argued Pemra’s approach, by prohibiting broadcast media licence holders from operating distribution service licenses which include the DTH licences, was unreasonable, discriminatory and beyond the scope of section 23 of the Pemra Ordinance.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2016.


reader | 6 years ago | Reply There has to be sources of news of one's choice. If we are to get rid of being indoctrinated day in day and day out, the people have to have a choice of what to listen to and what they do not. There has to be variety, choices of programs, for the general public. Except for B.B.C. and D.W. our local networks are so myopic in their content, many have stopped watching television. Local networks need to collaborate, coordinate, broaden their scope, for the benefit of the viewers, what they are producing is not good, just a waste.
BrainBro | 6 years ago | Reply Independent Newspapers Corporation is the parent company of Jang Group in Pakistan, and so is Independent Media Corporation, the parent company of Geo News in Pakistan. This media group wants to control other news channels (ARY, Express News etc.) by taking over the DTH system.
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