January 19, 2016
ISLAMABAD: The electronic media's regulatory body PEMRA looks set to slap a fine of Rs1 million on Samaa Television for airing an indecent program.
The program 'Wardaat' aired on July 22 last year featured reconstruction of a crime that involved a boy sending an 'extremely vulgar' text message to a girl. PEMRA said the message upset viewers and the authority faced a public backlash. It pointed out the dramatization and the words used were not only against cultural, social and religious values, they also violated PEMRA laws and Code of Conduct.
The authority served a show cause notice on Samaa on July 29, 2015 and gave the channel's managers 14 days to respond. However, no satisfactory response was received and the case was forwarded to PEMRA Council of Complaints, Karachi for further action.
Subsequently the council met on January 14, 2016 and after hearing the points of view of Samaa representatives and watching the recordings, unanimously recommended a fine of Rs1 million.
The Council of Complaints warned that in case of any future violation, the channel's license could be suspended or cancelled. It also suggested a circular be sent to all television channels to exercise caution and not to cross the line while broadcasting programs related to crimes.
For implementation of the council's decision, the case will be taken up at PEMRA's next meeting.
Last week PEMRA issued another show cause notice to Samaa for airing a breaking news that it said served to spread sensationalism and to win rating.
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