Contempt of court: Ex-PEMRA chief moves court against information secretary

Information ministry has placed ads in newspapers inviting applications for Pemra chief appointment.


Our Correspondent July 25, 2014

ISLAMABAD: A former chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has moved a court against the information ministry  officials for contempt of court.

Former Pemra chairman Rashid Ahmad on Thursday filed the petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) making secretary information and broadcasting as respondent for publishing an advertisement in newspapers inviting applications for appointment of new head of the electronic media watchdog.

The petitioner contended that this move is in violation of the court order and sought an action against the respondents.

On July 18, the government’s counsel Mahmud A. Sheikh pleaded before the court to allow placement of an advertisement inviting application for the post of Pemra chairman.

“The court not only dismissed the plea but also referred to an earlier order wherein the respondent had committed contempt of court by issuing notification of appointment of acting chairman and executive member of Pemra.”

The petitioner claimed that the respondents continued to harass him since his restoration by issuing show cause notices to him.

The petitioner contended that he was removed without any reason and show cause but later restored by the court.

“Even after restoration, his harassment continued and every effort was made to force him to submit resignation,” he maintained.

The petitioner further said that in an effort to prepare ground for his removal the government served him with a show-cause notice leveling charges against him that were already repelled by the court.

The court last week suspended notifications regarding appointment of Pervez Rathore and Kamaluddin Tipu as acting Chairman and executive committee members of Pemra respectively.

Meanwhile IHC judge Noorul Haq N. Qureshi was hearing another contempt of court petition filed by Pemra’s private member Israr Abbasi.

The petitioner claimed that Rathore was appointed Pemra acting chief by the prime minister in violation of Pemra’s ordinance which authorises the president to make such decisions.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.

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