Court Declares PEMRA’s Blockage Of Fazl’s Press Conference Illegal
The Peshawar High Court has ruled that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) move to stop television channels from broadcasting the news conference of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was illegal and a violation of the constitution of Pakistan and the Pemra Ordinance, 2002.
The decision was made by a bench consisting of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ahmad Ali.
The bench ruled that the ban was a violation of Article 19 and Section 27 of the PEMRA ordinance.
PEMRA’s bar had been challenged by lawyer and JUI-F leader Obaidullah Anwar, who had requested the court the declare the order illegal and unconstitutional.
In its judgement, the bench directed PEMRA to ensure that opposition’s activities are aired by television channels considering how much coverage is given to the government’s activities.
The bench also ruled that if in the future, any channel was ordered not to cover the JUI-F leader’s news conference, a contempt petition could be filed in court against that action.
The bench further observed that Article 19 of the constitution provided citizens the right to free speech and expression.