TV channels spreading vulgarity, PEMRA doing nothing: Chief justice

Deputy AG wants SC to take notice of politician parody shows, CJ says they are in good humour.

Azam Khan August 06, 2012

ISLAMABAD: While hearing a letter filed by justice (retd) Wajihuddin and former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Kazi Hussain Ahmed against obscenity aired on TV channels, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed on Monday that TV channels are “spreading vulgarity” and Pemra is doing nothing to prevent it. 

The Pemra acting chairman, Abdul Jabbar, who had appeared in the courtroom today, sought a month’s time to do the research, but the court denied his request. The Supreme Court also ruled that it is not yet forming a commission, but only granting a week’s time to the regulatory authority.

The chief justice cited some offensive programmes and advertisements and said that one finds it difficult to watch them with family.

He also said that some of them are aired even during Iftar time, which should be avoided.

The chief justice told Jabbar to categorise programmes with proper ratings – like it is done in the Western media – so that the people should know beforehand what they are watching.

The Pemra acting chairman stated that Indian channels were banned in Pakistan to restrain broadcast of any improper programmes and added that the Pakistani channels will now be screened for any such programmes.

Jabbar further informed the court that laws related to regularity of the programmes were not well-defined and that vulgarity was relative. “Something which is vulgar to the complainants might not be vulgar to you and me.”

While observing that TV channels now air press conferences and programmes against the judiciary, the Supreme Court ordered the Pemra acting chairman to pull out the record related to such programmes and bring it before the court in the next hearing.

Justice Chaudhry observed that the court was aware about the TV shows which were aired solely for the purpose of maligning the judiciary.

The court also observed that Jabbar is still working as an acting chairman of Pemra, while it has been over a year since he has been inducted.

The deputy attorney general requested the court to also take notice of the TV shows that run parodies of politicians and leaders. The chief justice observed that such programmes are “in good humour” and that such programmes “are enjoyed.”

Concurring with his statement, Justice Tariq Pervaiz said that such programmes are aired across the world and have never faced any dissent. Justice Pervaiz said that even in the United States, president Barack Obama’s parodies are aired on TV.

However, he said that such parodies and cartoons should not be insulting and should not target religion.


[poll id="839"]