LHC stays Pemra’s order to suspend private TV’s licence - Daily Qudrat Global

LHC stays Pemra’s order to suspend private TV’s licence

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday suspended the operation of a Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority order regarding suspension of the Channel 24’s licence.

Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi issued the stay order on a petition submitted by M/s Central Media Network Pvt Ltd through Advocate Tassadaq Murtaza Naqvi. During the hearing, the counsel argued that the Pemra suspended the license of the news channel without affording a proper opportunity of hearing. He said the respondent authority took the impugned action on alleged violation of rules in terms of licence’s category.

The counsel told the court that the petitioner-channel had applied to the authority for the change of licence’s category in 2015 and the application was partially approved. He argued that the impugned action taken by the Pemra chairman is unlawful as such orders are required to be issued with consensus of all members of the authority. He pointed out that the authority had allowed many licence holders to change category but targeted the petitioner on political grounds. He asked the court to set aside the impugned decision of the Pemra for being illegal.

The Pemra counsel opposed the maintainability of the petition, saying that the Islamabad High Court has the territorial jurisdiction to hear such matters. He asked the court not to stay the Pemra decision.

Justice Sethi turned down the request and suspended the operation of the impugned order. The judge observed that the case will be heard on a daily basis and directed the Pemra counsel to submit a written reply to the petition on Wednesday.

The Pemra, in a statement, had stated that the channel Value TV for which the licence was issued to M/s Central Media Network Pvt had illegally changed its name. It said the channel was granted the licence to air entertainment content but instead it was persistently and illegally airing news and current affairs programmes in continuous violation of Pemra laws.

 

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