SC refuses to grant stay against Pemra order
Supreme Court while hearing a private TV channel (Neo TV’s) appeal against Islamabad High Court (IHC) order that had upheld PEMRA’s act of suspending the TV channel for one week besides imposition of Rs1 million fine has refused to grant stay order to the channel against the penalty. While hearing the petition Justice Asif Saeed Khosa head of the three-member bench reminded Asma Jahangir the counsel for the channel of judiciary’s respect and sanctity.
The TV channel was suspended by PEMRA for seven days (the ban ended on Dec 8, 2016 12.00 p.m.) and was imposed fine also for airing television footage of an alleged private meeting between SC judge Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Senator Nehal Hashmi of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz regarding the Panama leaks case which is pending before the court. Later IHC also upheld PEMRA decision.
The apex court while adjourning the hearing for one week directed the Chairman of the authority to respond to the legal points raised by the TV channel’s counsel.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is hearing the TV channel’s appeal. During the hearing the bench observed that while upholding freedom of speech the TV channels should not bypass independence of judiciary. Justice Khosa to a point raised by Asma Jahangir Advocate, the counsel for Neo TV, remarked that for the sake of justice TV channels have to approach courts and at least they should exercise some restraint and show regard for these forums of justice.