IHC overturns PEMRA ban on live telecast of Imran’s speeches

Justice Minallah directs media watchdog to ensure effective enforcement of SC judgement on live broadcast of speeches


Hasnaat Malik September 06, 2022
Former prime minister Imran Khan arrives for hearing in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on August 25, 2022, in Islamabad. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has allowed live telecast of former prime minister Imran Khan's speeches on the electronic media and set aside the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) order.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, while hearing the ex-prime minister's plea against the ban, directed Pemra on Tuesday to ensure effective enforcement of Supreme Court judgement related to the live telecast of speeches.

In the verdict, the IHC chief justice said the media watchdog’s counsel failed to satisfy the court that a “blanket prohibition order could be passed under Section 27 of the Pemra Ordinance”.

“In case the licencees fail to effectively implement the directions regarding delaying mechanism, then Pemra will be expected to proceed against such delinquent licencees in accordance with law,” read the judgement.

Last month, Pemra imposed a ban on broadcasting live speeches of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.

Also read: IHC suspends PEMRA notification banning Imran's live speeches

While addressing a protest rally in Islamabad last on August 21, Imran warned the IG and DIG of Islamabad police, saying that he would not spare them and register a case against them for “torturing” party leader Shahbaz Gill during physical remand.

He also called out Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zeba Chaudhry for approving the police request for physical remand despite knowing that Gill was subjected to “torture”. “We will not leave you [Zeba] and will also file a case against her.”

Soon after Imran's speech, the coalition parties demanded action against the former premier. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also vowed to take legal action against Imran for “threatening” the woman judge and police officials.

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