Neo TV Fined Rs0.5m For Airing Khalilur Rehman Qamar’s Derogatory Remarks Against Marvi Sirmed

Pakistan Electronic Regulatory Media Authority (PEMRA) has imposed a Rs500,000 fine on Neo TV over violation of the code of conduct over a show wherein drama writer Khalilur Rehman Qamar made derogatory remarks against fellow panelist Marvi Sirmed.

In March, Neo TV had arranged a panel on Aurat March. However, during the show, Qamar, a screenwriter and director, blew off the handle over the slogan 'Mera Jism Meri Marzi' and made abusive remarks against Sirmed. The anchor Ayesha Ehtisham of the program did not even once call out the director for his rude behavior towards the rights activist.

Following the show, the case was taken to PEMRA. After hearing the case at length, the Council of Complaints (CoC) Lahore recommended a fine of Rs1 million on NEO TV and a warning to the channel to strictly observe the code of conduct in regards to gender and adopt a strict policy.

"The council disposed of the matter with a recommendation to impose a fine of Rs1 million to the channel on violating provisions of Pemra Ordinance 2002, rules, regulations and licence terms and conditions and electronic media (programmes and advertisements)Code of Conduct, 2015. The council further recommends issuing a warning to the channel to strictly observe the laws and code of conduct in regard to genders and strict policy should be adopted by the channel in this regard," the regulatory authority said in an order dated Aug 18.

However, PEMRA upon the recommendation of the CoC approved imposing a fine amounting to Rs500,000 upon Neo TV along with warning as recommended by the council of complaints.