IHC issues notice to Pemra regarding ban on court coverage

IHC issues notice to Pemra regarding ban on court coverage

IHC issues notice to Pemra regarding ban on court coverage
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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued a notice to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) regarding the ban on court coverage.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition filed by the Journalists Association, which challenges Pemra’s notification and restrains the authority from taking disciplinary action against TV channels. The hearing on this petition has been postponed until May 28.

The court has issued notices to both Pemra and the Secretary of Information. The petitioners, including Barrister Omar Ayaz Gullani, were present in court, along with Riasat Ali Azad, the President of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association.

This development follows four petitions filed against Pemra’s notification, which prohibits TV channels from broadcasting news about court proceedings.

The petitions list the Pemra chairman and director general, as well as the federal government through the secretaries for interior, law, and parliamentary affairs, as respondents. The petitions demand that the Pemra notification be suspended, set aside, and declared illegal.

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According to the notification issued by Pemra on Tuesday, all news channels are barred from airing material about ongoing court cases until a final verdict is announced.

The ban includes news about sub judice cases and mandates that channels only broadcast information in the public interest.

Pemra also instructed media outlets to refrain from expressing opinions on sub judice cases and warned against discussing ongoing court cases in a manner that could influence investigations or the trial.

The regulatory body emphasized that only information necessary for the public will be allowed to be disseminated through media channels.

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