IHC dismisses private TV channel’s appeal against fine

Court expects from anchors to act responsibly

Staff Reporter

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has dismissed a petition in favour of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in a case titled ‘ARY News vs PEMRA’ and has endorsed the decision of the regulator. ARY News in January 2016 in its programme “Sawaal Yeh Hai” hosted by Dr. Danish had provoked the then Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif to take over the government and carry out accountability of the politicians. PEMRA received a complaint on January 25, 2016 by a citizen Shanila Sikandar against the said programme. Following the necessary procedure and after hearing both the parties PEMRA imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on the channel for clearly violating Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.
ARY News, later challenged the decision in the IHC. However, the IHC single bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb upheld PEMRA decision and endorsed the recommendations of the Council of Complaint agreeing that the host of the programme had provoked the then Army Chief not only to take extension but also hold the politicians accountable.
The court observed the host further went on to pose question to Gen Raheel Sharif if he would take retirement on November 29, 2016 and leave the country at the mercy of looters and plunderers. In the 8-page judgment, the court mentions that it’s another matter that the Army Chief was unmoved by the anchor’s enunciation.

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