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Petition against closure of TV channels filed in LHC

LAHORE: A petition calling for action against Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), for taking private news TV channels off air, was filed in the Lahore High Court on Monday.

A citizen, Amena, has taken the federal government and PEMRA to the court for “illegally” ordering the television channels to go off air during a crackdown on protesters belonging to a religious group at Islamabad’s Faizabad Interchange.

On Saturday, the government had ordered closure of TV channels and blocking of social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, after a botched operation against the protesters triggered unrest across the country, paralyzing major cities.

The petition states the PEMRA took channels off air without any plausible reason, which caused a feeling of uncertainty among the people, who had to go through mental agony in absence of any access to accurate information.

It was a fundamental right of every citizen to have access to information, the petitioner argues, adding that such constitutional right was violated by ordering closure of TV channels.

She, therefore, requested the court to order action against the regulatory body and restrain it from doing so in future.

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