Pemra notification challenged in LHC

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A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court against a notification of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) whereby it has banned hugs and caresses in dramas.

The petitioner has described the ban as an attack on the freedom of expression.

On October 23, the Pemra directed TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the scenes being depicted in dramas did not represent the “true picture of Pakistani society”.

Qasim Mahmood from City News Network has filed the petition against the notification in Lahore High Court. Justice Jawad Hasan heard the petition on Tuesday.

The federal government, Pemra and others have been nominated in the petition as respondents, while the court-appointed Barrister Ahmed Pansota as a judicial assistant.

The petition said that Pemra’s advice was illegal as it was in sheer violation of Pemra Ordinance 2002.

It said Article 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan states that every citizen shall have the freedom of speech and expression and there shall be freedom of the press as well so the Pemra’s advice was clearly a violation of the article.

The petitioner said the issuance of such directives by Pemra was a reflection of “mental illness” therefore the court should declare the notification of ban null and void.

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