August 10, 2016
ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has rejected an internal action of sacking low-paid employees by Channel 24 after a fine of Rs1 million was recommended on them for airing anti-judiciary content.
PEMRA said Wednesday its laws stipulate that a license holder be held responsible for any violation. Sacking staff at the lower tier in a bid to save the top managers from being held accountable was like making a mockery of the law, it said.
Requesting the fine be waived, Channel 24 had informed PEMRA about the action it had taken through a letter this week. However, the watchdog, dismissing the response put forth two options for Channel 24 – pay the fine within five days or face suspension of license.
The authority said it expects its license holders to improve their systems by installing time delay mechanism and investing in training of staff.
Channel 24 had telecast a news conference on May 15 which was aired uninterrupted for 18 minutes during which accusations were hurled against the army and the judiciary and attempted to fan sectarian sentiments.
The channel has also been ordered to pay a separate fine of Rs0.5 million by August 15.
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Pakistan Observer, December 8, 2016