PEMRA’s inability to ensure code of conduct irks IHC


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday expressed displeasure with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) director general for not ensuring its code of conduct regarding the contents of TV channels.

Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case seeking ban over the coverage of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement’s (PTM) leaders Manzoor Pashteen, MNA Moshin Dawar, MNA Ali Wazeer and rights activist Gulalai Ismael and blocking of their social media accounts.

During the hearing, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) also submitted its reply to the bench regarding the matter.

The bench expressed displeasure with PEMRA DG over the performance of the department.

Justice Farooq said TV channels were not authorized to discuss the matters that were pending before the court in accordance with the law. The media should not predict the court judgment in any case, he said.

He said PEMRA was not ensuring implementation on its code of conduct.

The court ordered PEMRA to strictly monitor the TV channels to stop “contents that were against the state institutions”.

He said state institutions could not be maligned in the name of freedom of expression, adding that no constitution allowed such an act. This was a matter of country’s interest, he said.

The petitioner’s counsel Barrister Shoaib Razzaq requested the bench to issue orders to block the social media accounts of PTM’s activists.

The bench, however, adjourned the case till June 27.