The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued a notice to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to file its response to a petition against closure of private news channels during a crackdown against Faizabad protesters. A bench of the LHC was hearing the petition seeking action against the PEMRA for shutting TV channels down. The petitioner argued that the move to take private news channels off air to stop flow of information during the crackdown against Faizabad protesters was illegal and sheer violation of Article 19-A of the constitution, which guarantees citizens’ right to access information.
The petition states that the PEMRA didn’t provide plausible reason for doing so. Moreover, the closure of TV channels caused a feeling of uncertainty among the people, who had to go through mental agony in absence of any access to accurate information. It says that it was a fundamental right of every citizen to have access to information, adding that such constitutional right was violated by ordering closure of TV channels.—INP