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IHC issues contempt of court notice to Chairman PEMRA

ISLAMABAD: The high court being presided over by Justice Athar Minallah issued a contempt of court notice to chairman PEMRA for using the court’s name without prior permission or context as means of persuasion to enforce strict guidelines on media houses, anchors, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

Islamabad High Court issued the orders during today’s hearing of a contempt of court case against media channels who had transgressed legal boundaries and discusses sub-judice matters in live programs.

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Justice Athar Minallah during the court proceedings remarked that misusing the court’s name won’t be tolerated and those found guilty would be penalised.

IHC also took the lawyer representing the regulatory body to task and asked him to provide a transcript of all the programs in question who had gone against the law and stepped over legal boundaries.

The top court judge also said that such conjecture brought a bad name to the court’s esteem and gave way to unneeded hearsay which could be damaging to court proceedings and adversely effect cases being heard.

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Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had issued new directives to all TV channels regarding analyses, views and discussion on sub-judice matters which resulted in tremendous backlash from a large segment of society, media and prominent political entities.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had barred television anchors from giving their opinions during talk shows and limited their role to being moderators.

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“As per PEMRA code of conduct, role of anchors is to moderate the programmes in an objective, unbiased and impartial manner, excluding themselves from the personal opinions, biases and judgments on any issu. Therefore, anchors hosting regular shows should not appear in TV shows whether own or other channels as subject matter experts,” it said in a statement on Sunday.

The court sought a report of PEMRA actions on such violations with reprimand.



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