IHC maintains stay order on issuance of new TV licenses

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday maintained its stay order till June 10, against issuance of new TV licenses by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

The bench directed the Chairman PEMRA and board members to submit an affidavit, assuring that the rights of current license holders wouldn’t be affected.

The counsel of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) Faisal Saddiqui pleaded that the cable operators would become more influential with introduction of more TV channels. He asked whether PEMRA had regularized 124 TV channels before issuing 70 more licenses.

He argued that 89 channels were members of PBA and PEMRA’s decision would affect their rights

Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that PEMRA was not authorized to take any decision which affects the freedom of expression. With PEMRA’s decision, the control would be shifted to unregistered cable operators, he observed and asked channels regulatory body to satisfy the bench that how the issuance of new licenses wouldn’t affect the right of current license holders.

The bench adjourned hearing of the case till June 10.